Scope and Content
Title: Robert Harborough Sherard
Date (inclusive): 1881-1987
Collection number: MS.1997.004 and MS.1997.005
Creator: Sherard, Robert
(.5 linear feet)
William Andrews Clark Memorial Library
Los Angeles, California 90018
Abstract: Correspondence and other materials related to Robert Harborough Sherard, collected by both Glennyth M. Woods and by Francis
Watson. Letters and other documents are concerned with the reputation of Oscar Wilde, Sherard's life and career, his views
on other literary and social figures of his day, and other topics, such as his views on World War II.
Physical location: Clark Library.
Language of materials: Collection materials in English.
Collection is open for research.
Copyright has not been assigned to the William Andrews Clark Memorial
Library, UCLA. All requests for permission to publish or quote from
manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Clark Librarian.
Permission for publication is given on behalf of the William Andrews
Clark Memorial Library, UCLA as the owner of the physical items and is
not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder,
which must also be obtained.
[Identification of item], Robert Harborough Sherard Collection,
MS.1997.004 and MS.1997.005, William Andrews Clark Memorial Library,
University of California, Los Angeles.
This collection is currently comprised of two separate accessions:
The Glennyth M. Woods Holtz papers, originating in accession MS.1997.005, were
a gift to the Clark in 1997; the Francis Watson papers on Sherard,
accession MS.1997.004, were purchased by the Clark Library in 1997.
Robert Harborough Sherard:
Robert Harborough Sherard was born in London on December 3, 1861, the
fourth child of the Reverend Bennet Sherard Calcraft Kennedy, the illegitimate son of the sixth and last Earl of Harborough.
His mother was Jane Stanley Wordsworth, granddaughter of the poet. In 1880
he went up to New College, Oxford but after a quarrel with his father,
who cut him off from the expected family inheritance, was forced to
leave for financial reasons. At this time he dropped the surname
Kennedy. He left for Europe and later enrolled at the University of Bonn
to study law and oriental languages, but again had to leave for lack of
At the age of twenty he settled in Paris to earn his living as a
journalist and novelist. In Paris he became acquainted with a number of
the leading French literary figures of the eighties and nineties,
including Emile Zola, Guy de Maupassant and Alphonse Daudet, and also
with Oscar Wilde, with whom he formed a close friendship, although they
fell out after Wilde's release from prison. In 1902, two years after
Wilde's death, he published 'Oscar Wilde: the story of an unhappy
friendship', which was to be the first of several works in which he
maintained Wilde's innocence of the charge of homosexuality. Others
include 'Oscar Wilde twice defended' (1934) and 'Bernard Shaw, Frank
Harris and Oscar Wilde' (1936).
Sherard supported himself mostly through journalism, contributing
articles to papers in France, England and America. He was also a
prolific writer of novels, biographies and social commentaries,
publishing thirty-three works in total. The biographies, besides those
on Wilde, are 'Emile Zola' (1893), 'Alphonse Daudet' (1894), and 'Guy de
Maupassant' (1926). His social investigations, during which he lived
with the poor and studied their conditions, resulted in works such as
'The White Slaves of England' (1897). In 1933 he founded the Vindex
Publishing Co., Calvi, in Corsica, and he used this base to publish
several pamphlets he wrote attacking Gide's biography of Wilde. He lived
in France for most of his life but died in Ealing (UK) on January 30,
Francis Watson was born in Dudley, Worcestershire (UK) and attended
St. John's College, Cambridge. He worked for a number of publishing
companies before spending nearly four decades working at the Wallace
Collection in London, where he published a widely acclaimed furniture
catalog. In 1947 he was given the appointment of deputy surveyor of the
King's works of art. Watson was a prolific writer, including very many
radio programs. He is probably best known for his biography of Dawson of
Penn and for his publications on eighteenth-century decorative arts.
Glennyth M. Woods Holtz:
Glennyth M. Woods (born in 1914 in Oregon) was a correspondent of
Robert Sherard who first contacted him because of her interest in Oscar
Wilde. Sherard thought of her as an adopted niece because she shared the
same first name as one of his nieces. A published author, Woods worked
at the Securities and Exchange Commission in Washington D.C. and also
lived in Denver for a time. She went with the 82nd Airborne Division to
England with the American Red Cross during World War II and returned in
January of 1946 on the Queen Mary. She later married Oscar Holtz.
Scope and Content
The Robert Harborough Sherard collection is comprised of papers and correspondence regarding or written by Robert Harborough
and collected by both Glennyth M. Woods and Francis Watson. Oscar Wilde and his
posthumous reputation figure importantly in the correspondence collected
here, and other documents discuss Sherard's own career and other
The Francis Watson collection on Sherard was primarly assembled
during Watson's preparation of a radio program about Sherard, which was
produced in 1987. He had corresponded and built up a friendship with
Sherard, and the papers include several letters from Sherard in the
1930s, copies of pamphlets, and the script for the above-mentioned radio
The Glennyth Woods collection of Sherard materials is primarily
composed of correspondence between Woods and Sherard regarding Oscar
Wilde and other matters, but also includes letters between Woods and
Lord Alfred Douglas, correspondence between other parties and ephemera.
There is additional correspondence to and from Robert Harborough Sherard and other material related to him and his circle
in the Oscar Wilde collection of the Clark Library. References to the 4 finding aids that comprise the Wilde collection are
The collection is organized into the following series:
- Series 1. Glennyth M. Woods collection on Robert Sherard, 1895,
1937-1944. .25 linear feet
- Series 2. Francis Watson collection on Robert Sherard, 1933-1938,
1977-1987. .25 linear feet
The following terms have been used to index the description of this
collection in the library's online public access catalog.
Douglas, Alfred Bruce, Lord, 1870-1945
Genres and Forms