University of Delaware Library

Special Collections Department

Clement King Shorter Papers

1894 – 1973

(bulk dates 1895 - 1926)

Manuscript Collection Number: 387
Accessioned: Purchase, June 1994
Extent: Extent: 1 linear ft.
Content: Letters, autobiography, essays, clippings, magazines, books, photographs, caricatures, and notes
Access: The collection is open for research.
Processed: April 1999, by Anita A. Wellner

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Special Collections, University of Delaware Library
Newark, Delaware 19717-5267
(302) 831-2229

Table of Contents

Biographical Note

English journalist and editor Clement King Shorter was born in London, at Southwark, on July 19, 1857, to Richard and Elizabeth (Clemenson) Shorter. Shorter, the youngest of three sons, was a still a boy when his father died in Melbourne, Australia, where he had traveled in hopes of making a better living.

From 1863 to 1871, Shorter attended school at Downham Market, Norfolk. After leaving school Shorter worked for four years for several different booksellers or publishers on Paternoster Row in London. In 1877 Shorter began working as a clerk in the exchequer and audit department at Somerset House.

Shorter began his career in journalism in 1888, writing a weekly column about books for the Star and working as a sub-editor for the Penny Illustrated Paper. In 1890 he resigned his clerical position at Somerset House and focused on journalism. In 1891 he was made editor of the Illustrated London News, where he also edited Album and Pick-me-up. In addition to editing, Shorter founded three papers: Sketch (1893), The Sphere (1900), and The Tatler (1903).

Shorter was editor of The Sphere from 1900 until his death in 1926, each week contributing his controversial column “A Literary Letter.” Shorter described the content of The Sphere and later of The Tatler as “on less serious lines” and “on more frivolous lines.”

In the early 1900s, Shorter's main interest had become collecting manuscripts, books, and ephemera related to his favorite authors. Shorter was a particularly avid collector of material related to the Brontës. Shorter's collection and research eventually developed into several books on the Brontës, including Charlotte Brontë and her Circle (1896, and later reissued as The Brontës and their Circle in 1914), Charlotte Brontë and her Sisters (1905), and The Brontës: Life and Letters (1908). He also edited Elizabeth Gaskell's Life of Charlotte Brontë (1899).

Clement Shorter's published writing also included several volumes on Napoleon, two works on George Borrow, a volume of essays and addresses, and a fragment of his autobiography. C. K. S.: an autobiography was edited by J. M. Bulloch and published posthumously in 1927.

Clement Shorter was married twice: first to Irish poet Dora Sigerson, whom he married in 1896 and who died in 1918; and in 1920 to Annie Doris Banfield of Penzance. Doris Shorter and their daughter, Doreen Clement Shorter, survived Clement Shorter, who died on November 19, 1926, at his home at Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire.


Seymour-Smith, Martin and Andrew C. Kimmens (eds.). World Authors, 1900-1950. New York: The H. W. Wilson Company, 1996. p. 2406.

Shorter, Clement King. C. K. S.: an autobiography. Privately printed by Constable & Co., 1927.

Weaver, J. R. H. (ed.) The Dictionary of National Biography, 1922-1930. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1981. pp. 771- 772.

Scope and Content Note

The Clement King Shorter Papers consist of one linear foot of manuscripts, photographs, newspaper clippings, letters, magazines, books, notes, and caricatures. Drafts of chapters for Shorter's autobiography and essays for his columns define the manuscripts. Spanning the dates 1894 to 1973 (bulk dates 1895-1926), the collection furnishes a sampling of Shorter's writing, includes some published columns and articles, and ephemera related to him and his family.

Manuscripts written by Clement Shorter, particularly drafts of chapters intended for his autobiography, C. K. S.: an autobiography, constitute the majority of the collection. The drafts include material for chapters which were incorporated into the autobiography. J. M. Bulloch, who edited Shorter's autobiography posthumously, mentions in his introduction a number of incomplete drafts which Shorter wrote for inclusion in his autobiography but did not complete. Many of these incomplete drafts, such as “Alfred Harmsworth,” “George Meredith,” “America,” and “My Life in Theatre-Land,” are found in Series I.2. Also among the manuscripts is a draft for his column, “A Literary Letter,” which appeared in The Sphere.

Supplementing the manuscripts in Series I. are a number of printed items. These include articles or columns written by Shorter, particularly proof or final copies of The Bookman, The Sphere, The Contemporary Review, and Literature.

Series II consists of seven photocopied letters, two from Shorter to Robertson Nicholls and the remainder to Shorter from E. W. Watkin, Henry Irving, and James Fitzmaurice-Kelly. The correspondents extend offers of hospitality, thank Shorter for tributes, describe recent travels, and comment on articles written by Shorter.

Series III includes a variety of images of Clement Shorter and family, including a 1919 photograph depicting Shorter posing with Charlie Chaplin, a holograph caricature of Shorter, a photograph probably of Dora Sigerson Shorter, and several printed caricatures or photographs.

Series IV and V are composed of printed publications. Copies of The Big Six of the British Empire (n.d.) and The Jolly Good Fellows (1907), which are available in Series IV, contain an article concerning Shorter's The Sphere and a satirical column about Shorter, respectively. The books, magazines, and pamphlets, which are arranged in Series V, may have been collected by Shorter, by his second wife, Doris Banfield Shorter, or by others. Only one item is specifically inscribed to Clement Shorter, by Emily J. Climenson. The books cover a variety of topics, such as the history of Rome, manuscripts in the Ashley Library, volunteer defense in Aberdeen, and the history of Shiplake Church. A series of booklets on pre-war Nazi Germany, published by the “Friends of Europe,” are particularly interesting.

Miscellaneous items found in Series VI complete the collection. In addition to several magazine and newspaper clippings and a catalog of sale items from the estate of Senator George Sigerson (Dora Sigerson's father), two letters from Philip Frere to Doris Long are available. Also present are an ink and pencil drawing of Elizabeth Bryher and a set of printed caricatures of British notables (from the supplement to The New Statesman, 1926). A unique copy of The Vienna Roll (1912 Aug), a publication describing a Scandinavian cruise aboard the S. S. Vienna, includes original photographs and probably belonged to Dora Banfield.

This collection, with Shorter's drafts for his autobiography, an assortment of publications, images of Shorter and family, and miscellaneous items, contributes to a preliminary understanding of Clement King Shorter.

Related Collections:

Ms 99 Clement K. Shorter letter to Gadric Gregory (F403)

Ms 99 Dora Sigerson Shorter letter to an unidentified individual (F353)

Series List

I.   Writing by Clement King Shorter, 1895-1926                  
     1.  C. K. S.:  an autobiography, 1925-1926 and [n.d.]      
     2.  Drafts and fragments of manuscripts, 1918-1922         
     3.  Printed material, 1895-1926      

II.  Copies of correspondence between Clement Shorter and others,

III. Images of Clement Shorter, family, and friends, 1914-[1926]

IV.  Printed material concerning Shorter or his publications,
     1907 and [n.d.]     

V.   Books, magazines, and catalogs possibly collected by Clement
     Shorter, his family, or others, 1898-1973  
VI.  Miscellaneous material, 1901-1959                                                   

Contents List

Folder -- Contents

          Series I. Writing by Clement King Shorter, 1895-1926

          Series I.1.  C. K. S.:  an autobiography, 1925-1926 and [n.d.]

F1   Title page, 1926
     One page typescript with autograph revisions.

     Book chapters, [n.d.]

F2   “The Illustrated London News,” [n.d.]
     Four pages of typescript with extensive autograph revisions.
     Incomplete draft of the chapter.
F3   “The Sphere,” [n.d.]
     Eight pages of typescript with extensive autograph
     revisions.  Nearly complete chapter, missing only page one.
F4   “The Founding of The Tatler,” [n.d.]
     Eight pages of typescript with autograph revisions.
     Complete chapter.
F5   “Humorous Journalism,” [n.d.]
     Eighteen pages of typescript with a few autograph revisions.
     Incomplete draft of the chapter.
F6   “Dora Sigerson,” [n.d.]
     Eighteen pages of typescript and eighteen autograph pages of
     drafts for the chapter.  No complete draft is present.

F7   Galley proof pages, 1925 Jul 29
     Thirteen sheets of galley proofs which includes the
     chapters: “The Sphere,” “The Founding of the Tatler,” “Dora
     Sigerson,” and “Humorous Journalism.”  The proofs bear some
     autograph revisions and notes.  The galleys have been
     removed to the oversize section.

F8   Notes for the autobiography, [n.d.]
     Six typescript pages and six autograph pages of notes which
     were not included in the autobiography.

          Series I.2. Drafts and fragments of manuscripts, 1918-
          Many of these drafts were written by Shorter for
          inclusion in his autobiography, but were never
          completed.  J. M. Bulloch, who edited C. K. S.:  an
          autobiography, mentions a number of these topics in his
          introduction (pp. xv-xvi).  Other drafts appear to have
          been speeches or drafts for his columns.

F9   [Alexander Lyle-Samuel], [n.d.]
     Three pages of autograph draft and a one-page draft
     regarding Shorter’s friends, Alexander Lyle-Samuel and his

F10  “Alfred Harmsworth,” 1922
     Sixteen pages of autograph manuscript drafts regarding
     Harmsworth/Lord Northcliffe, a two-page typescript draft,
     and clippings regarding Lord Northcliffe.

     [America], [1919]
     Drafts of an essay reflecting on Shorter’s 1919 tour of the
     United States.  Also includes an album of newspaper
     clippings which document Shorter’s tour and his remarks at
     formal gatherings, as well as an album of clippings of
     Shorter’s column, “A Literary Letter,” in which he records
     his impressions of America.

F11  Drafts, [1919]
     Includes an eight-page autograph draft, a five-page
     typescript draft, and a list of gentlemen who entertained
     Shorter at a Union League Club of Chicago lunch on June 9,
     1919.  At the lunch Shorter spoke on Ireland and its
     relations to America.

F12  “A Literary Letter,” 1919 Apr-Sep
     Disbound pages from a notebook containing pasted-in copies
     of Shorter’s column, “A Literary Letter,” in which he
     reflects on his tour of America in 1919.

F13  Album of newspaper clippings of tour in the United States, 1919
     Pages of pasted-in clippings from U.S. and British
     publications regarding Shorter’s tour in the United States,
     plus a number of loose clippings.  A preservation photocopy
     of the clippings is also available in the folder.

F14  [Edward FitzGerald], [n.d.]
     Six pages of typescript draft for a presentation honoring
     Edward FitzGerald’s hundredth birthday.  Includes pages of
     autograph additions.

F15  “George Gissing,” [n.d.]
     Six-page typescript of the recollections by Henry Hick on
     George Gissing.

F16  “George Meredith,” 1918-1921
     Includes four pages of an incomplete autograph draft, an
     eleven-page typescript first draft, and nine-page typescript
     second draft (plus two pages of carbon copy from this
     draft).  Also include tear sheets of the article, “Chapters
     from My Reminiscences--1: George Meredith,” as it appear in
     the October 1921 issue of The Bookman’s Journal and Print
     Collector, and tear sheets of B. W. Matz’s article on George

F17  [George Moore], [n.d.]
     Four pages of an autograph draft on George Moore.

          Series I. Writing by Clement King Shorter (cont’d)
          Series I.2. Drafts and fragments of manuscripts (cont’d)

F18  [George Sigerson], [n.d.]
     Five-page autograph draft on George Sigerson.

F19  [List of names], [n.d.]
     Thirty-eight pages of an alphabetical list of names,
     possibly an index.

F20  “Literary Letter,” [n.d.]
     Five-page typescript of a draft for “A Literary Letter,” on
     the topic of modern literature, published in The Sphere.

F21  “My Life in Theatre-Land,” [n.d.]
     Twenty pages of autograph draft and an eight-page typescript

F22  “Some Politicians,” [n.d.]
     Two-page autograph draft on Irish politicians.

F23  Miscellaneous drafts and notes, [n.d.]
     Four pages of typescript and nine pages of autograph drafts
     on a variety of topics, including short stories, writing,

          Series I.3.  Printed material, 1895-1926

F24  The Bookman, 1895-1899
     Includes paste-ups or tear sheets of articles by Shorter,
     including his column, “My Bookshelves:  Reminiscent.”  Some
     of the items are incomplete.  Topics include Grant Allen and

F25  The Contemporary Review, [1899]
     Tear sheets of Shorter’s article, “Illustrated Journalism:
     Its Past and Its Future.”

F26  An Editor’s Bookshelves, [1898]
     Proofs of pages 1-4 of Shorter’s book.

F27  Literature, 1898 Nov-Dec
     Proofs and tear sheets of Shorter’s article, “Among My Books
     - German Literature in England.”

F28  Publishers’ Circular and Booksellers’ Record, 1925 Dec 5
     Tear sheet of a column about Shorter’s health and a letter
     from Shorter.

F29  The Sphere, 1900-1926
     Includes tear sheets of Shorter’s column, “A Literary
     Letter,” as published in The Sphere, proof copies of several
     editions of “A Literary Letter,” and three copies of The
     Sphere (April 7 and March 10, 1900 and December 7, 1929).
     The proofs include articles on Horace Walpole, new novels,
     and book buying.  The issues of The Sphere and the proofs
     have been removed to the oversize section.

          Series II.  Copies of correspondence between Clement
          Shorter and others, 1894-1910
          Includes carbon copies of letters from E. W. Watkin,
          Henry Irving, and James Fitzmaurice-Kelly, as well as
          photocopies of Shorter’s letters to Robertson Nicoll
          and two photocopies of letters from unidentified

F30  Copies of correspondence, 1894-1910

          Series III.  Images of Clement Shorter, family, and
          friends, 1914-[1926]
          Includes photographs and caricatures.

F31  Caricatures, 1914 and [n.d.]
     Includes an original ink and pen drawing of a caricature of
     Shorter as Don Quixote, tear sheet of caricature of Shorter
     published in The New Age (1914 Mar 5), and three proof pages
     of a caricature of Shorter and The Sphere by Bernard

F32  Photographs, 1919-[1926]
     Includes a 1919 photograph of Shorter with Charlie Chaplin,
     a photograph with his daughter, Doreen Clement Shorter, a
     photograph of Kronstrand’s 1914 portrait of Shorter, and a
     photograph of (possibly) Dora Sigerson Shorter.

F33  Printed photograph of Shorter and daughter, 1924 Jan 2
     Tear sheet from the January 2, 1924, issue of The Tatler
     which includes a picture of Shorter and his daughter Doreen.

          Series IV.  Printed material concerning Shorter or his
          publications, 1907 and [n.d.]

F34  The Big Six of the British Empire, [n.d.]
     Proof copy of a magazine describing the use of illustrations
     and photography in the six leading illustrated weekly
     magazines in Great Britain.  It includes The Sphere and The
     Tatler, both of which were founded by Shorter.  Shorter is

F35  The Jolly Good Fellows, 1907 Jul 10
     Bound copy of a periodical written in celebration of a tour
     of British journalists to Germany.  The articles are
     satirical in nature, poking fun at the British journalists,
     including Shorter (see p. 10).

          Series V.  Books, magazines, and catalogs possibly
          collected by Clement Shorter, his family, or others,
          Arranged in alphabetical order by author, or by title
          or series if no author.
F36  Bulloch, J. M.  The Contribution of the Town of Aberdeen to
     Volunteer Defence 1794-1808. [Aberdeen:  Privately printed
     at the Aberdeen Daily Journal Office], 1915.

F37  Climenson, Emily J.  History of Shiplake Church.  s.l.:
     s.n., [n.d.].  Inscribed to Clement Shorter by the author in

F38  Creighton, M.  History of Rome.  London:  Macmillan and Co.,
     Limited, 1898.

F39  Crosland, T. W. H.  Find the Angels The Showmen, a Legend
     of the War.  London:  T. Werner Laurie Ltd., 1915.  Three
     items are laid in:  a photocopy of an image of John Milton,
     a torn page with an image, “The Bear in the Beech-wood,” and
     the May 13, 1926, issue of The Manchester Guardian Bulletin
     (No. 8).  This book has been removed for cataloging for the
     Special Collections book section.
F40  “Friends of Europe” Publications, 1934-1935
     A series of pamphlets providing information about Nazi
     Germany.  Include form letters addressed to “Dear Madam,”
     suggesting these items may have been send to Doris Shorter.

     Barker, Ernest.  A Nazi School History Text Book 1914-1933.
          London:  Friends of Europe, [1934].  Friends of Europe
          Publication No. 11.

     Protestantism in the Totalitarian State.  London:  Friends
          of Europe, [1934].  Friends of Europe Publication No.

     Ogilvie, Vivian.  Education Under Hitler.  London:  Friends
          of Europe, [1934].  Friends of Europe Publication No.

     Garvie, A. E.  Confessions:  The Religious Conflict in
          Germany.  London:  Friends of Europe, [1934].  Friends
          of Europe Publication No. 20.

     Leiper, Henry Smith.  The Church-State Struggle in Germany.
          London:  Friends of Europe, [1935].  Friends of Europe
          Publication No. 21.

     Norlin, George.  Hitlerism:  Why and Whither, Some Aspects
          of a Religious Revolution.  London:  Friends of Europe,
          [1935].  Friends of Europe Publication No. 22.

F41  The Gutenberg Bible:  the first printed book:  the Melk
     copy; described by Seymour de Ricci.  The Anderson
     Galleries.  Auction catalog, sale Number 2033, “to be sold
     by order of the owner Edward Goldston, London...February
     fifteenth...”  New York:  The Anderson Galleries, 1926.

F42  Jacobson, Pauline.  A Fire-Defying Landmark. [s.l.:  s.n.,
     n.d.].  Reprinted from The San Francisco Bulletin, May 4,

F43  Morris Wigram Rosenthal Limited Newsletter.  January 1973.
     Salisbury:  The Compton Press, Ltd., 1973.

F44  Pictured Life of Christ. [s.l.:  s.n., n.d.]

F45  Sotheby & Co. (London, England).  Catalogue of Eighteenth
     and Nineteenth Century and Old Master Paintings including
     the Property of the Late R. H. Burgess...  London:  Sotheby
     & Co., 1971.  Includes laid-in letter to T. S. Lewens from
     Sotheby & Co.

F46  Sotheby & Co. (London, England).  Catalogue of Old
     Master Paintings.  London:  Sotheby & Co., 1970.
     Includes a laid-in letter from Sotheby & Co. to Mr.

F47  Tidley Winks 1904.  Christmas Number.  June 24th. [s.l.:
     s.n., 1904]. Edited by B. Kronstrand.

     Wise, Thomas James.  The Ashley library :  a catalogue of
     printed books, manuscripts and autograph letters / collected
     by Thomas James Wise.  Volume VII.  London :  , 1922-
     1936.  Unbound copy with some uncut pages.  (Complete copy
     available in Special Collections - Spec  Z1024 .W57

F48  Pages I-xi and 1-80
F49  Pages 81-144
F50  Pages 145-220

          Series VI.  Miscellaneous material, 1901-1959

F51  The Vienna Roll.  Kingsway [London]:  St. Clemens Press
     Ltd., 1912.
     “Edited by the Dough (k) nut -- the Wise Woman of the (Y)
     east; Largest circulation in the North Sea.”  Second series,
     volume II, no. 1, no. 2, no. 3, August 1912, from the
     Scandinavian cruise aboard the S. S. Vienna, July 31-August
     23, 1912.
     Two copies, one with pasted-in photographs of passengers and
     scenes from the cruise.  Includes poetry, satires and other
     humorous articles by passengers.  Also includes the sheet
     music for the song, “Sunset,” written by Winifred Ellerman,
     a passenger on the cruise.  Mailing envelope:  “Miss Doris
     Banfield, Minalto, Penzance, Cornwall.”  Doris Banfield was
     Clement Shorter’s second wife.

F52  Caricatures, 1922-1926
     “The Bing Boys” (signed Quiz, from The Saturday Review, July
     1, 1922).
     H. G. Wells, Ramsay (2 copies), Arnold Bennett, Lord Oxford,
     George Bernard Shaw, “L. G.,” Lord Beaverbrook (2 copies),
     Philip Snowden, (signed Low, from the supplement to The New
     Statesman, January-April, 1926).  11 items

F53  Photographs and images, [n.d.]
     “Alice Meynell,” print of a pencil sketch
     “Thomas Masterman Hardy from a miniature in the possession
          of Mrs. Hardy Manfield of Portsham,” print
     “Elizabeth Bryher,” pen and ink drawing; inscribed “sends
          love to Godmother Doris...”
     [Dedication of a monument?] photograph, stamped “Gibson &
          Sons, Penzance & Scilly Isles,” [n.d.]  4 items

F54  Letters from Philip Frere to Doris Long, 1959
     Two typed letters from Frere to Long regarding a financial
     gift from Bryher.

F55  Estate of the Late Dr. Geo. Sigerson, Senator, Catalogue of
     the Valuable Antique Furniture, Silver, Old Sheffield Plate,
     also his Unique & Historic Collection of Miniatures... 
     Battersby & Co., Dublin, July 28th, 1925.
     George Sigerson was the father of Dora Sigerson, Shorter's
     first wife.

F56  Tear sheets from magazines and newspaper clippings, 1901-
     Includes a clipping regarding Roger Casement (1920), article
     about Casanova de Seingalt (1901), an article by George
     Bernard Shaw titled “In the Days of My Youth” (1924), and an
     article on St. Michael's Mount in Cornwall (1924).

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