Marie Corelli was born in England. She was the illegitimate daughter of the Scottish poet Charles Mackey and his servant. Marie was sent to a Parisian convent for her education. Her Victorian romances have been compared to those of Jaqueline Suzann. Vendetta is set during the cholera epidemic of 1884 in Naples. The plot is loosely based on historical facts. An outraged husband takes the law into his own hands when he discovers his wife has been unfaithful. Corelli sums up her preface with the following chilling words. "it often happens that strange and awful deeds are perpetrated--deeds of which the world in general hears nothing, and which, when brought to light at last, are received with surprise and incredulity. Yet the romances planned by the brain of the novelist or dramatist are poor in comparison with the romances of real life-life wrongly termed commonplace, but which, in fact, teems with tragedies as great and dark and soul- torturing as any devised by Sophocles or Shakespeare. Nothing is more strange than truth--nothing, at times, more terrible!"