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Edition of The Sphere from 1914
Wikimedia Commons

The Sphere was a British weekly illustrated newspaper first published on 27 January 1900. Founded by Clement Shorter (1857–1926) – who also created The Tatler the following year – and published by Illustrated Newspapers, it continued in production until 27 January 1964 for a total of 3343 issues. Like its rival The GraphicBritish weekly illustrated newspaper published from 1869 to 1932., which it absorbed in 1932, The Sphere focused on news and society stories. Although it did publish some fiction, usually one or two stories per issue by writers including Thomas Hardy, Katherine Mansfield and Edith Nesbit, eventually fiction featured only in its Christmas issues.[1]

The shipping magnate Sir John Ellerman provided financial backing for The Sphere,[2] and bought the newspaper during the First World War, along with The Tatler.[3] Shorter, as the paper’s first editor, contributed a weekly literary column until his death in 1926.[2]


  • Clement Shorter (1900–1926)
  • Jesse Heitner (1926–1960)
  • John Oliver (1960–1964)