Corelli Collection

This collection of 51 works by the occult novelist Marie Corelli was donated from the estate of James G. Moody of Te Wharau on 16 March 1972. Several works occur in more than one edition and in more than one copy. The Corelli Collection is held in the Turnbull Named Collections.

Marie Corelli (1855-1924) was born Mary Mackay, the illegitimate daughter of the Scots poet and songwriter Dr Charles Mackay and his servant Elizabeth Mills. She became a talented pianist, using the name Marie Corelli for performances, but turned to writing romantic fiction using the same pseudonym.

Cover of The Treasure of Heaven, showing a very romantic looking woman looking out over a coastline.
Marie Corelli, The treasure of heaven, ca. 1930. Record page

She published her first novel, A Romance of Two Worlds, in 1886. Corelli was prolific, best-selling and widely read in her day, although professional critics criticised her writing style. A recurring theme throughout her books was her attempt to reconcile Christianity with reincarnation, astral projection and other mystical topics. The books became an important part of the foundation of today's New Age religion.

A further six titles about the life of Marie Corelli, also donated from the Moody estate, are in the Alexander Turnbull Library General Collection.

Access items in this collection

Original items in this collection can be requested through the Library’s catalogue and consulted in the Katherine Mansfield Reading Room.

This collection is catalogued online and may be called up as a list on the National Library catalogue by searching ‘Corelli’ using the ‘in call number’ search option in the NLNZ catalogue advanced search.

Cover of Ziska, showing a woman in tiara and necklace, in front of a somewhat abstract tree and pyramid scene.
Marie Corelli, Ziska: the problem of a wicked soul, 1960. Record page