Marie Corelli News 

News, comments from contributors, discoveries from the archives, plus items of curiosity. Whether you are an academic, an admirer or inquirer, please send notes or questions to the contact e-mail address below.

Compiled by:  Nick Birch. Marie Corelli website administrator, Stratford-upon-Avon.

Contact:           info@mariecorelli.org.uk

Marie Corelli’s Furniture

We were recently contacted by someone who thought they had some items of Marie Corelli’s furniture. Her mother is believed to have bought them at the auction of the contents of Mason Croft in October of 1943, following the death of Bertha Vyver. The three items are; a cane back chair, an upholstered tub chair and matching chaise long. The unusual thing is that all three are very small - see the picture with someone in it for scale. Although the chair & chaise long have been recovered, the original fabric, which is white and covered with flowers, was kept.

IMG 0067 copy

A careful scan through a copy of the auction catalogue revealed lot 869 from the Study Tower which is in the garden:

In Teresa Ransom’s biography on Marie Corelli, p217, it says that the Tower was apparently furnished with items of small furniture that Marie had had as a child, explaining their diminutive size. 

If you are interested in acquiring any of these unusual pieces, they may be for sale. The owner would like them to go to someone with a real interest in their history. Please contact Hattie Gauld at hattiegauld@live.co.uk. The items are near Stratford-upon-Avon.

Project to Restore Marie Corelli’s Monument

We are delighted to announce that a project to restore the angel that stood over Marie Corelli’s grave in Stratford-upon-Avon is now well under way. The statue was moved to the City and Guild School of Art in London in September where their Conservation Department, led by Dr Marina Sokhan, is beginning a process of conservation and restoration of the marble statue, shown here before work began.

The significant damage to the statue caused when it was toppled is a follows; a broken right wing, the right arm is broken into nine pieces with fragments of two fingers missing, and the left arm is broken into three pieces.

The work is being undertaken by one of the Conservation Department’s final year students who will complete the work over the forthcoming academic year. The intention is to return the statue for reinstatement in late June or early July. In the meantime the grave will be cleaned and re-furbished by Stratford's monumental masons, GEO Clifford.

The project was instigated by Nick Birch, (administrator of this website), and adopted by Stratford Society, who organised minor repairs to the statue back in 1996. Funding has come from a Stratford Town Trust grant, with contributions from Avon~Boating Ltd, who own Marie Corelli’s gondola, and from private donations.

Desecration of Marie Corelli's Grave.

On the evening of Saturday 8th December the angel that has stood watch over Marie Corelli’s grave was pushed to the ground and smashed. It is believed that whoever was responsible for this wanton act of destruction climbed the gates of Stratford’s main cemetery and toppled a number of other stones before attacking the figure that adorns Marie Corelli’s memorial.

The angel, slightly less than life size, was left face- down in the turf, with it’s right arm in pieces and it’s left wing broken.  A few days later, the Town Council had the angel removed for storage until it’s fate is decided upon.

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A spokesman from a local monumental masons, who repaired the right hand of the statue a few years ago, stated that it may be beyond repair, and that the cost of a new statue in marble would be of the order of £20,000 to £30,000.

During the defilement, there was some minor damage to one of the pillars surrounding the grave, and scratches to the marble wreath containing Marie Corelli’s name on the front of the pedestal. 

I include more photos of her grave, both before and as it has now been left.


MC grave
© Nick Birch 2013