Sherard, Robert Harborough (writer) – Archive and Library

Robert Harborough Sherard (1861-1943) was a journalist, biographer and novelist, best known today for his friendship with Oscar Wilde and his publications in Wilde’s defense.

He was born in 1861 and was educated at Oxford University. After he graduated, he became a professional journalist writing for a wide range of publications. He became particularly interested in working conditions and urban poverty. He was also commissioned to write several articles on child labour. For most of his life, he lived in France and Corsica where he wrote memoirs of French life.

He was a friend, and first biographer, of Oscar Wilde. Sherard first befriended Wilde in 1883 when he was 22 and Wilde was 28. Both ambitious, young writers at the time, they forged a lifelong friendship. Sherard wrote several pieces in defense of his friend and would regularly write into newspapers to protest articles published about Wilde.

Archive Collection

Reference: MS 1047              Date: 1868-1946              Extent: 12 boxes and 3 oversize items

The collection includes letters written to Sherard, diaries, works in manuscript and typescript including novels and short stories, and sundry papers.


  • A full description is available on our online database.
  • A handlist for the whole collection is available here.
  • See also a list of other writers’ and artists’ archives here.

Library Collection

Reference: SHERARD COLLECTION             Date: c. 1895-1950                Extent: c. 57 volumes 

The collection includes copies of Sherard’s written works, including several copies of his works concerning Oscar Wilde. Also in the collection are some journal issues, pamphlets and offprints which include pieces written by Sherard and his associates.  



  • There are several examples of Sherard’s works in our rare book collections (besides the Sherard Book Collection).