Octavo, pp. [i-vii] viii [1-3] 4-365 [366: blank] [367: printer's imprint] [368: blank], original pictorial black cloth, all panels stamped in silver, white endpaper with floral pattern printed in gray. First edition, first printing. An anonymously published, ill-advised, savage attack on her critics, publishers, and the Victorian literary establishment which alienated almost all her professional contacts. Corelli, who believed in female superiority and her own genius, "enjoyed a period of great literary success from the publication of her first novel in 1886 until World War I. Corelli's novels sold more copies than the combined sales of popular contemporaries, including Arthur Conan Doyle, H. G. Wells, and Rudyard Kipling, although critics often derided her work as 'the favorite of the common multitude.'...Mackay began her career as a musician, adopting the name Marie Corelli for her billing. Eventually she turned to writing and published her first novel, A ROMANCE OF TWO WORLDS, in 1886. In her time, she was the most widely read author of fiction. Her works were collected by Winston Churchill, Randolph Churchill, and members of the British Royal Family, among others. Mackay, who famously had little time for the press, faced criticism from the literary elite for her overly melodramatic writing. In THE SPECTATOR, Grant Allen called her 'a woman of deplorable talent who imagined that she was a genius, and was accepted as a genius by a public to whose commonplace sentimentalities and prejudices she gave a glamorous setting. ' James Agate represented her as combining 'the imagination of a Poe with the style of an Ouida and the mentality of a nursemaid. '"-Wikipedia. "A key book in her career..."-Wolff 1478. Her parodies include "Byron Loquitur, " an account of the Silver Domino's encounter with the ghost of Lord Byron. A bright, very good or better copy. A lovely copy. The first printing is rare. (#151638)
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