Main content

Matthew Phipps Shiel Collection


Held at: Princeton University Library: Manuscripts Division [Contact Us]

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Princeton University Library: Manuscripts Division. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

Shiel, M. P. (Matthew Phipps), 1865-1947

Matthew Phipps Shiel was a prolific British writer of tantasy fiction, remembered most for supernatural and science fiction, published as novels, short stories, and serials. Shiel was born on the island of Montserrat in the West Indies. He moved to England in 1885, and after working as a teacher and translator he broke into the fiction market with a series of short stories published in The Strand and other magazines. By the early nineties he was contributing stories to penny weeklies and associating with such writers as W. T. Stead and Arthur Machen. In 1895 Shiel published Prince Zales, and The Rajah's Sapphire and Shapes in the Fire appeared the following year.

The collection consists of fifty-two letters and cards by Shiel to authors, editors, literary agents, and publishers. Subjects include his manuscripts, his publications (novels and short stories), publishing in America, and royalties. There are eleven letters to his literary agent Morris Colles, and thirteen letters to the publisher Henry Davray, most of them in French. Other correspondents include Curtis Brown Ltd. concerning Shiel's book Lord of the Sea; Philip Unwin of the publishers Allen & Unwin; Ernest Benn Ltd.; The Dailey Herald; Percival Presland Howe; Edward Harry William Meyerstein; author Walter Owen; Thomas Weston Ramsey, President of the Poetry Society; Sidgwick & Jackson, publishers; and Alan Tytheridge.

Folders are arranged alphabetically by correspondent.

Purchased on July 26, 1954 (AM17066).

For preservation reasons, original analog and digital media may not be read or played back in the reading room. Users may visually inspect physical media but may not remove it from its enclosure. All analog audiovisual media must be digitized to preservation-quality standards prior to use. Audiovisual digitization requests are processed by an approved third-party vendor. Please note, the transfer time required can be as little as several weeks to as long as several months and there may be financial costs associated with the process. Requests should be directed through the Ask Us Form.

This collection was processed by Dina Britain on July 23, 2007. Finding aid written by Traci Ballou-Broadnax on July 30, 2007. Folder Inventory added by Hilde Creager (2015) in 2012.

No appraisal information is available.

Manuscripts Division
Finding Aid Date
Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. No further photoduplication of copies of material in the collection can be made when Princeton University Library does not own the original. Inquiries regarding publishing material from the collection should be directed to RBSC Public Services staff through the Ask Us! form. The library has no information on the status of literary rights in the collection and researchers are responsible for determining any questions of copyright.

Collection Inventory

Correspondence, A-G, 1892-1976. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Correspondence, H-Z, 1904-1946. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Print, Suggest