Note the mandolin on the books in this photograph of her study.
At Leamington Town Hall, Warwickshire, England on the 2nd October 1899, a large audience assembled to witness the prize distribution by Miss Marie Corelli to the students of the Leamington Centre, in connection with Trinity College, London.
Miss Marie Corelli said:
“It gives me very great pleasure to be here to-day, not only because it is an interesting occasion, but because I am myself so much in sympathy with you and your work. "Before I wandered into what is called the thorny path of literature, I was being educated for the musical profession. I think I may venture to say it was not my fault I did not enter it; everything was ready for me. My teachers, I am glad to say, were satisfied, and I had the chance of an exceedingly brilliant start.
"But it suddenly entered my head, rightly or wrongly, that I had something to say first, and whether that something proved to be interesting or otherwise I determined to say if. So I said it in the form of a book, with the unexpected result that an indulgent public insisted on my saying something more. Hence the production of words instead of the production of tones. (Applause).
“I can only be too thankful for having had a thorough training in music, for it is, and ever will be, one of greatest joys of my life. My love of this noble art puts me in thorough harmony with you to-day, because I know by experience the grind as well as the glory of hard musical study. I know how the wrists ache and the fingers tire of the work needed to attain perfect execution on any instrument. I know too how the spirits sink and the energies flag when trying to understand, sympathetically understand, and master the great tone poets. (Applause.) I also know how sweet it is when the work is done and the reward attained.
"What sincere pleasure it gives me to see so many bright and happy-looking followers of one of the most glorious arts in the world, and to express the earnest hope that the reward you win today may not only be a pleasant memory, but may serve as a strong encouragement for still further good work and painstaking effort.
Indeed, I do hope that some of you will go on so studiously, from better to best, that the time will come when the most distinguished honour that a college or the world can offer you will seem but a very pleasant and superfluous compliment.” (Prolonged applause)
Marie Corelli on Music as reported in the Evening Express (Wales) 2nd October 1899.