Style Points from fin-de-siecle Lady Novelists: Marie Corelli and Ouida

by on Dec.15, 2011

Marie Corelli

Marie Corelli (1855-1924) was a writer of extremely popular romances with such names as “Vendetta!”  “Innocent, Her Fancy and his Fact”, “The Sorrows of Satan” and “Wormwood: A Drama of Paris”.

The haters had a lot of hate for her, describing her as combining “the imagination of a Poe with the style of an Ouida and the mentality of a nursemaid”.


Ouida  (1839-1908) was another lady romance novellist, and her author photo, is, perhaps, of an even greater level of awesomeness. Here’s a choice passage from Wikipedia about her appearance and workhabits:

Of short stature “sinister, clever face” and with a “voice like a carving knife” (William Allingham‘s diary 1872), she moved into the Langham Hotel, London in 1867, where she wrote in bed, by candlelight, with the curtains drawn and surrounded by purple flowers.[6] She ran up huge hotel and florists bills, and commanded soirees that included soldiers, politicians, literary lights (including Oscar Wilde, Algernon Swinburne, Robert Browning and Wilkie Collins), and artists (including John Millais).[4] Many of her stories and characters were based upon people she invited to these salons at The Langham.[6]

3 comments for this entry:
  1. David Grove

    I read Wormwood–found an ancient copy of it in an antique shop. It’s about an embittered Parisian absintheur. Not a bad read.

  2. Johannes

    Sounds awesome. Will have to check it out.

  3. Google on Absinthe? Google Rewrites Marie Carelli’s Wormwood - Montevidayo

    […] in addition to providing free e-book of Wormwood, also provides this awesome algorithmic reading of Marie Corelli’s  Wormwood– it might make my top ten poems of […]