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At the Circulating Library

A Database of Victorian Fiction, 1837–1901

A Database of Victorian Fiction, 1837–1901

Author: Kate Marion Cordeux

Author: Kate Marion Cordeux (1862–1962)

Alternate Name(s): Daniel Dormer (pseudonym)

Biography: Kate Marion Cordeux was born in 1862 in Westbury on Trym, Gloucestershire, the daughter of successful draper John Cordeux. She was educated in Paris, Bedford, and Bonn. As a young woman, Cordeux moved in literary circles and knew W.S. Gilbert. In the 1880s, she wrote two sensational novels under the pseudonym "Daniel Dormer": Out of the Mists (1886) about a murdered husband in Rome and The Mesmerist's Secret (1888). She followed this with Steven Vigil (1891), a novel read and recommended by George Meredith in his role as publisher's reader. After a long break, she wrote three more novels in the twentieth century under her own name. A spinster, she dedicated much of her time to charity including maintaining a children's home for the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. Her lasting accomplishment, though, is starting a campaign to persuade the BBC to carry a daily religious service in 1926. Initially turned away by the BBC and the Archbishop of Canterbury, she persisted and two years later the BBC began "The Daily Service", now the longest running radio program ever. Cordeux spent her later years in Watford, Hertfordshire, where she died in 1962 at the age of one hundred.

References: British Census (1911); "The BBC's Daily Service," The Listener (17 January 1863); Times (10 October 1962)

Fiction Titles:

  1. Out of the Mists.  1 vol.  Bristol: Arrowsmith, 1886.
  2. The Mesmerist's Secret.  1 vol.  London: John Maxwell, 1888.
  3. Steven Vigil.  2 vol.  London: Chapman and Hall, 1891.