Marie Corelli

With the support of

Stratford Town Trust logo

Marie Corelli Centenary

Mason Croft, Town Hall and Harvard House

Saturday 4 and Sunday 5 May, 2024
View the full programme of events (April-May)

Marie Corelli was one of Stratford-upon-Avon's most flamboyant and contentious personalities. She was the best-selling author of her day, eclipsing Charles Dickens, H.G. Wells and Wilkie Collins combined. Queen Victoria was a great fan and insisted on being sent a copy of each new book. There were over 30 major novels, collections of short stories and poems, and innumerable magazine articles.

In 1899, after a serious illness and sick of the ‘spite and meanness’ in London, Marie moved to Stratford-upon-Avon with her devoted companion, Bertha Vyver. They first rented Hall's Croft, then later that year moved to the Dower House. In 1901 she purchased Mason Croft, where she lived in great style until her death on 21 April 1924. She took a close interest in the town's architectural heritage, and was responsible for saving and restoring Harvard House in High Street and the Public Library in Henley Street. A concise biography by local author Jann Tracy (Marie Corelli: Shakespeare's Champion) is available here.

The celebration of Marie Corelli's work and contributions to the town will take place on (and around) 4th and 5th May 2024, in Mason Croft, the Town Hall and Harvard House. Events will include an academic symposium at the Shakespeare Institute (Mason Croft), an exhibition, a garden party, a Victorian song recital, and a dramatic reading of The Sorrows of Satan.

Please note the Call for Exhibits for the public exhibition in the Town Hall on Sunday 5th May.