The Palgrave Encyclopedia of Victorian Women's Writing

Living Edition
| Editors: Lesa Scholl, Emily Morris

A Romance of Two Worlds (Corelli, Marie)

Living reference work entry


Fulfilling Walter Scott’s definition of romance as a “fictitious narrative turning upon the marvellous or supernatural” (Scott 1829, 104), Marie Corelli’s first novel A Romance of Two Worlds (1886) engages with the marvelous themes of astral projection, telepathy, precognition, and the halting of the aging process. Rather than creating a complete flight of fantasy, Corelli grounds her novel and its incidences in the burgeoning field of late nineteenth-century electromagnetic science, drawing upon the wonders of the practical applications of electricity that were beginning to touch everyday lives at the fin de siècle.

Published originally in two-volume form, the novel is most often classified as an occult romance. However, Andrew Radford reads the text as a “spry subversion of the laws of genre,” identifying tropes of melodrama, trance, romance, and science fiction deployed with Corelli’s “pick and choose philosophy” (2019, 183–188). Camilla Hoel has explained how science...


Marie Corelli Novel Science Science fiction Occult romance Electricity Faith Religion 
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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Social Sciences and HumanitiesLoughborough UniversityLoughboroughUK

Section editors and affiliations

  • Emily Morris
    • 1
  1. 1.St. Thomas More CollegeUniversity of SaskatchewanSaskatoonCanada