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Eric Mackay letters and manuscripts


Held at: University of Delaware Library Special Collections [Contact Us]181 South College Avenue, Newark, DE 19717-5267

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Delaware Library Special Collections. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

British poet Eric Mackay (1851-1898) was the son of journalist and poet Charles Mackay (1812-1889) and the half-brother of novelist Mary Mackay (1855-1924), who published under the pseudonym Marie Corelli. He published several books of poetry in both England and in America, including

Love Letters of a Violinist (1886), A Lover's Litanies (1888), and Song of the Sea (1895), as well as a volume of his father's poetry, Gossamer and Snowdrift: The Posthumous Poems of Charles Mackay (1890).

Mackay also produced an unauthorized play based on Corelli's novel

The Sorrows of Satan, which was a commercial failure. In the final year of his life, Mackay allegedly claimed that he was the true author of Corelli's successful novels. After his death, Corelli circulated a pamphlet refuting his claim of authorship of her work.

"Mackay, Mary." British Short-Fiction Writers, 1880-1914: The Romantic Tradition. Ed. William F. Naufftus.Dictionary of Literary Biography Vol. 156. Detroit: Gale Research, 1995. (reproduced in Literature Resource Center). (accessed September 14, 2010). Mullin, Katherine. "Mackay, Mary."Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press, 2009. (accessed September 14, 2010).

The collection consists of nineteen autograph letters from British poet Eric Mackay to American editor of

The Independent, John Eliot Bowen, and three undated autograph manuscripts of Mackay's prose and poetry. There is also one letter from Mackay to the unnamed editor of the Century Magazine.

The correspondence concerns Mackay's efforts to place poems (often referring to enclosures, most of which are not included in the collection) with Bowen and

The Independent and more generally, possible opportunities for American publication of and publicity for his books of poetry. One letter mentions Mackay's assessment of his half-sister Mary Mackay's (pseudonym Marie Corelli) novels Vendetta (1886) and A Romance of Two Worlds (1886). He also mentions the possibility of his poem "Choral Ode to Liberty" being read at the Great Inauguration Ceremony held for the Statue of Liberty held in 1886. Additionally, the collection includes manuscripts with minor revisions of a short prose piece, "Anteros," five poems assembled under the heading "Five Sonnets," and a poem entitled "A Song of Servitude."

The letters are arranged in chronological order followed by undated material. The manuscripts are arranged alphabetically by title.

Box 61, F0875: Shelved in SPEC MSS 0099 manuscript boxes.

Purchase, July 2010.

Processed and encoded by Julia Pompetti, September 2010. Further encoded by George Apodaca, October 2015.

University of Delaware Library Special Collections
Finding Aid Author
University of Delaware Library, Special Collections
Finding Aid Date
2010 September 20
Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

Use of materials from this collection beyond the exceptions provided for in the Fair Use and Educational Use clauses of the U.S. Copyright Law may violate federal law. Permission to publish or reproduce is required from the copyright holder. Please contact Special Collections, University of Delaware Library,

Collection Inventory

Correspondence, 1885-1889 and undated.
Box 61 Folder F875
Scope and Contents

Letters from British poet Eric Mackay to American editor John Eliot Bowen arranged chronologically, followed by undated. One letter from Eric Mackay to unnamed editor of the

Century Magazine . 20 pp. 4 envelopes. Physical Description

20 items

Physical Description

3 items

Box 61 Folder F875
Scope and Contents

A prose piece in which the title is crossed out and other minor revisions have been made. 1 p.

"Five Sonnets".
Box 61 Folder F875
Scope and Contents

Includes sonnets "After Two Days," "Visions," "Dante," "A Thunderstorm at Night," "The Mission of the Bard." 4 p.

"A Song of Servitude".
Box 61 Folder F875
Scope and Contents

An poem in fourteen sections with minor revisions. 3 p.

Print, Suggest