On this day

April 21, 1923

cover page of The Sphere published on April 21, 1923

The Sphere





Available years


The Sphere, or The Sphere: An Illustrated Newspaper for the Home, was an illustrated weekly newspaper which began publication in London in 1900. Its founder and first editor, Clement King Shorter, left his role as editor of The Illustrated London News to begin the publication of The Sphere. It was dedicated to world-wide reporting, as symbolised by its initial front cover of two women, representing East and West, carrying a globe between them.

The publishers of The Illustrated London News began publication of a new newspaper, The Spear, two days before the first issue of The Sphere, in order to confuse readers and steal customers from The Sphere. In its advertisements, The Sphere repeated its name, spelling it out as S-P-H-E-R-E, and warned its audience ‘REMEMBER THE SPHERE is spelt S-P-H-E-R-E. You want THE SPHERE: insist upon having it – you may be offered something else instead which you don’t want.’

One noted contributor to The Sphere was Italian illustrator Fortunino Matania, who received great notoriety for his illustrations of the Great War in particular. When he received criticism from the Daily Telegraph who claimed that Matania’s ‘war pictures have no relation to accuracy.’ The Sphere shot back by saying that ‘every detail of the above drawings is guaranteed to be severely accurate’, as Matania was no stranger to the Front. After his death in 1963, a short obituary and a few examples of Matania’s work were featured in a double page spread.

The Sphere ceased publication in 1964.

For this newspaper, we have the following titles in, or planned for, our digital archive:

  • 1900–64 Sphere :

This newspaper is published by Illustrated London News Group in London, London, England. It was digitised and first made available on the British Newspaper Archive in Nov 29, 2016 . The latest issues were added in Nov 30, 2016.

  • Earliest issue: January 27, 1900
  • Latest issue: June 27, 1964


The title is not available on British Library and library premises