University of Delaware Library

Mackay, Eric, 1851-1898.

Eric Mackay letters and manuscripts

1885-1889, undated


Descriptive Summary

Identification: MSS 099, F875


Creator: Mackay, Eric, 1851-1898.


Title: Eric Mackay letters and manuscripts


Inclusive Dates: 1885-1889, undated


Extent: 23 items


Abstract: 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. The collection consists of nineteen autograph letters from 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.


Language: Materials entirely in English.



Citation

MSS 099, F875, Eric Mackay letters and manuscripts, Special Collections, University of Delaware Library, Newark, Delaware.

Shelving Summary

Box 61, F875: Shelved in SPEC MSS 099 manuscript boxes

Location

Special Collections Department, University of Delaware Library / Newark, Delaware 19717-5267 / Phone: 302-831-2229 / Fax: 302-831-6003 / URL: http://www.lib.udel.edu/ud/spec/

Source

Purchase, July 2010.

Processing

Processed and encoded by Julia Pompetti, September 2010.


The collection is open for research.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

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 Department, University of Delaware Library, http://www.lib.udel.edu/cgi-bin/askspec.cgi


Biographical Note

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.

Sources:

"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). http://galenet.galegroup.com/servlet/LitRC (accessed September 14, 2010).

Mullin, Katherine. "Mackay, Mary." Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press, 2009. www.oxforddnb.com (accessed September 14, 2010).


Scope and Content Note

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."


Selected Search Terms

Personal Names
Mackay, Eric, 1851-1898--Correspondence.
Bowen, John Eliot, 1858-1890--Correspondence.
Topical Terms
Poets, English--19th century--Correspondence.
Form/Genre Terms
Correspondence.
Occupation
Poets.
Editors.
Personal Contributors
Bowen, John Eliot, 1858-1890, correspondent.

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


Detailed Contents List

Correspondence , 1885-1889 and undated   [Box 61 F875]

20 items

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.

Manuscripts , undated 3 items

"Anteros"   [Box 61 F875]

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

"Five Sonnets"   [Box 61 F875]

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

"A Song of Servitude"   [Box 61 F875]

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