Elizabeth Burgoyne Corbett


Elizabeth Burgoyne Corbett (1846–1930), also known as Mrs George Corbett, was an English feminist writer, best known for her novel New Amazonia: A Foretaste of the Future (1889).[1][2]

Corbett worked as a journalist for the Newcastle Daily Chronicle and as a popular writer of adventure and society novels.[3] Many of her novels originated as magazine serials and not published in book form.[4]

In June 1889, Mrs Humphry Ward's open letter "An Appeal Against Female Suffrage" was published in The Nineteenth Century with over a hundred other female signatories against the extension of Parliamentary suffrage to women.[5] Inflamed by this "most despicable piece of treachery ever perpetrated towards women by women", Corbett wrote and published New Amazonia.[3]

While New Amazonia was the most explicitly feminist of her novels, it was not the only one to deal with the position of women in society.[6] Her novel When the Sea Gives Up Its Dead (1894) features one of the earliest female detectives in fiction, Annie Cory,[7] and is itself preceded by Adventures of a Lady Detective around 1890, possibly published in a periodical.[8] Her writing was not universally well received, but Hearth and Home listed her along with Arthur Conan Doyle as one of the masters of the art of the detective novel.[6]


  • The Missing Note (1881)
  • Cassandra (1884)
  • Pharisees Unveiled: The Adventures of an Amateur Detective (1889)
  • New Amazonia: A Foretaste of the Future (1889)
  • A Young Stowaway (1893)
  • Mrs. Grundy’s Victims (1893)
  • When the Sea Gives Up Its Dead (1894)
  • Deb O’Mally’s (1895)
  • Little Miss Robinson Crusoe (1898)
  • The Adventures of an Ugly Girl (1898)
  • The Marriage Market (1903)
  • The Adventures of Princess Daintipet (1905)

Other works

  • Adventures of a Lady Detective (short stories; 1890)
  • Secrets of a Private Enquiry Office (short stories; 1891)


  1. ^ Duangrudi Suksang, "Overtaking Patriarchy", in Utopian Studies, vol 4 no 2 (1993)
  2. ^ "Fiction Mags Index". Archived from the original on 15 November 2010. Retrieved 7 June 2011.
  3. ^ a b Beaumont, Matthew (2005). Utopia Ltd. : Ideologies of Social Dreaming in England 1870-1900. Leiden: Brill Academic Publishers. p. 120.
  4. ^ Aqueduct Press - Elizabeth Burgoyne Corbett. Accessed 18 Dec 2014
  5. ^ Ward, Mrs Humphrey, (1889). "An Appeal against Female Suffrage," The Nineteenth Century 25, 781–788.
  6. ^ a b Lake, Christina (Summer 2013). "Amazons, science and common sense: the rule of women in Elizabeth Corbett's New Amazonia". Victorian Network. 5 (1): 65–81. Retrieved 31 March 2018.
  7. ^ Women Detectives
  8. ^ Miller, Elizabeth Carolyn (March 2005). "Trouble with she-dicks: private eyes and public women in the Adventures of Loveday Brooke, Lady Detective". Victorian Literature and Culture. 33 (1): 47–65. doi:10.1017/S1060150305000720. S2CID 163089934.

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