Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Shoberl, Frederic

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SHOBERL, FREDERIC (1775–1853), author, was born in London in 1775, and educated at the Moravian school at Fulneck, near Leeds. Having settled in London, he became, with Henry Colburn [q. v.], the originator and co-proprietor of the ‘New Monthly Magazine,’ which began on 1 Feb. 1814. For some time he acted as editor, and contributed original articles and reviews. He was long associated with Rudolph Ackermann [q. v.], whose ‘Repository of Arts’ he edited from the third to the seventy-second number (March 1809 to December 1828). He conducted Ackermann's English annual, ‘The Forget-me-not,’ from its first issue in November 1822 till its twelfth in 1834. He also edited Ackermann's ‘Juvenile Forget-me-not’ from 1828 to 1832 (five volumes). From 27 June 1818 to 27 Nov. 1819 he was printer and publisher of the ‘Cornwall Gazette, Falmouth Packet, and Plymouth Journal,’ a conservative paper issued at Truro. He died at Thistle Grove, Brompton, London, on 5 March 1853, and was buried in Kensal Green cemetery on 12 March. By his wife Theodosia, who died on 18 Dec. 1838, he had two sons: William, who was first an assistant to H. Colburn, and then a publisher at 20 Great Marlborough Street; and Frederic, who was printer to Prince Albert, at 51 Rupert Street, and died on 22 March 1852, aged 48.

The best known of his original works were:

  1. ‘A History of the University of Oxford,’ 1814.
  2. ‘Narrative of Events which occurred in and near Leipzig before, during, and subsequently to the Engagements in 1813 and 1814;’ 10th edit. 1814.
  3. ‘A History of the University of Cambridge,’ 1815.
  4. ‘An Historical Account of the House of Saxony,’ 1816.
  5. ‘Picturesque Tour from Genoa to Milan,’ 1820.
  6. ‘Present State of Christianity and of Missionary Establishments,’ 1828, founded on a work by J. H. D. Zschokke.
  7. ‘Natural History of Quadrupeds,’ 1834.
  8. ‘The Public Building of Westminster described,’ 1835; 2nd edit. 1838.
  9. ‘Prince Albert and the House of Saxony,’ 1840.
  10. ‘Persecutions of Popery,’ 2 vols. 1844.

With J. Nightingale and others he continued Brayley and Britton's ‘Beauties of England and Wales,’ and he compiled vol. xiv., containing Suffolk, Surrey, and Sussex, 1813. With M. Retzsch he brought out ‘Gallerie zu Shakespeare's dramatischen Werken,’ 1828. He edited ‘The World in Miniature,’ 1827, 43 vols., and ‘Excursions in Normandy,’ 2 vols. 1841, and executed a large number of translations from, among others, Klopstock, Kotzebue, Alfred de Vigny, Thiers (the French revolution), and Chateaubriand.

[Biogr. Dict. of Living Authors, 1816, p. 315; Gent. Mag. 1853 i. 446, May 1852 p. 532; Boase and Courtney's Bibl. Cornub. 1869–81, pp. 352, 646, 1229; Timperley's Cyclopædia of Literary Anecd. 1842, pp. 933, 954; Allibone's English Lit. 1871, ii. 2089; Athenæum, 12 March 1853, p. 324.]

G. C. B.