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Shiel, M. P. (Matthew Phipps)



  • Existence: 1865-1947

biographical statement

Matthew Phipps Shiel was born in Montserrat in 1865. He was the eighth or ninth child but the only son of the family. On his fifteenth birthday, his father, Matthew Dowdy Shiel, crowned him King of Redonda, a rocky island near Montserrat. M. P. Shiel moved to England and became a writer publishing his first book, Prince Zaleski, in 1895. He wrote short stories for the popular magazines and revised some of these stories into full-length novels. His work is sometimes described as science fiction but may perhaps most usefully be called “fantasy” literature. He is noted for his extravagant use of language and sometimes wrote under the pen name “Gordon Holmes”. Shiel married twice, and in his later years, he undertook a regular correspondence with an American fan, Anne Marie Gross Miller, whom he never met. On his death, in 1947, Shiel left his house to Miller’s son, Patrick.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Shiel, M. P. Collection by A. Reynolds Morse

Identifier: Shiel
Scope and Contents Most of the collection (72 linear feet) consists of the books and periodicals that Morse assembled over his forty years as a collector, which Olin Library maintains using funds provided by Morse. The books include not only Shiel’s works but also works by other authors that he knew, such as, Louis Tracy. Morse also collected books about science fiction and works that mention Shiel or his work. Of especial interest are the issues of such old periodicals as Strand...
Dates: Created: 1865-2000; Other: Majority of material found in 1945-1985; Other: Date acquired: 11/30/1988