Ref NoEHS/C/9
TitlePersonal correspondence: from EHS: to Florence Chaplin Shepard
DescriptionFlorence Eleanor Chaplin Shepard, Ernest Shepard's first wife, was born in 1875. Her grandfather, Ebenezer Landells, was one of the founders of PUNCH, and she herself had considerable artistic talent, as Shepard notes in DRAWN FROM LIFE. She studied at the Royal College of Art and the Royal Academy Schools, where she and Ernest Shepard met, probably not long after he started there in 1898. They privately agreed on an engagement in 1902, but did not make it public until about two months before their 28 September 1904 wedding because of their penurity. After their marriage, Florence appears to have continued working as an artist, though it is unclear whether she did so for pay or if any of her artwork has survived. During World War I, she acted as her husband's agent or factor, liaising between Ernest and actual or potential commissioners of his artwork. She was asthmatic, and after WWI, her doctor advised that she move to higher ground to improve her pulmonary health -- this prompted the building of Long Meadow. In September 1927, just before the family was due to move in to Long Meadow, Florence went to London for a routine nasal operation intended to improve her breathing; she died on the operating table, possibly due to a reaction to the anaestethic.
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