Stuart, Francis, 1902-2000

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Henry Francis Stuart was an Irish poet whose books were praised by William Butler Yeats and Poetry Magazine in Chicago. He lectured on modern English and Irish literature at Berlin University in the 1930's and in 1958 relocated to County Meath, Ireland. As a young man he served time for arms smuggling during the Irish civil war. The solitude and his conviction cementing his ambition to be an artist. The collector, Geoffrey Elborn, was born on February 27, 1950 in Scotland and had an extensive professional and writing career publishing poetry, fiction and biographies of writers who were less commercial, but critically important. He is quoted as saying "I prefer to write of the unfashionable". He published "Francis Stuart, A Life," in 1990.

From the description of Francis Stuart papers from the Geoffrey Elborn collection, 1902-1990. (Southern Illinois University). WorldCat record id: 213330577

Henry Francis Stuart was born in Townsville, Australia on April 29, 1902 of Irish Protestant parents, Elizabeth and Henry Irwin Stuart, from County Antrim, Ulster. At seventeen, Stuart wanted to be a poet, which led him to seek out Dublin writers of the time, including George Russell. At one salon, he met Iseult Gonne, the daughter of leading actress and figure in the Irish Nationalist movement, Maud Gonne MacBride. After converting to Catholicism, Stuart and Gonne married. The couple helped Iseult's mother run a hospital out of her home suring the Irish Civil War, and Stuart was arrested for smuggling arms for the Republican Army. While in prison he developed the theory that an artist can develop best when either ignored or despised by society. Soon after his release in 1923, Stuart published his first book of poetry, which was praised by William Butler Yeats, and Poetry magazine in Chicago (which published some of his poems) and won an award under the name of H. Stuart. During the 1930s, Stuart and his growing family settled in County Wicklow and Stuart wrote about ten books, spending extended time in London and Paris as well. In April of 1939, Stuart went alone on a lecture and readings circuit in Germany at various universities and was offered a job as lecturer in modern English and Irish literature at Berlin University, which he accepted. While there, Stuart fell in love with one of his former students, Madeleine Gertrude Meissner, whom he tried to get out of Germany at the end of World War II. His attempts failed, and the pair were arrested in the fall of 1945 and held without charges until the following spring. Stuart and Meissner spent the next three years in Frieburg, Germany, where he wrote Redemption and Pillar of a Cloud. In 1949, Stuart moved to Paris for two years, where he published The Flowering Cross, and two earlier books were translated into French. Stuart moved to London in 1951 with Miss Meissner. In 1954, following Iseult's death, Stuart married Meissner, and in 1958, the Stuarts relocated in County Meath in Ireland.

From the description of Francis Stuart papers, 1932-1971. (Southern Illinois University). WorldCat record id: 180943307

Irish novelist and poet.

Born in Townsville, Australia in 1902, Stuart was raised in Meath, Ireland. After publishing a few books of poems, he turned to fiction. His involvement with the Irish Civil War and with Germany during World War II led to temporary imprisonments. His last noted book, A HOLE IN THE HEAD, was published in 1977.

From the description of William T. O'Malley - Francis Stuart collection, [1933?]-1995. (Boston College). WorldCat record id: 33877452

Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Elborn, Geoffrey, 1950- person
associatedWith Envoy (Dublin) corporateBody
correspondedWith Gonne, Iseult, 1894- person
associatedWith O'Keeffe, Timothy. person
associatedWith O'Malley, William T., person
correspondedWith Reynolds, Horace Mason, 1896-1965 person
associatedWith Stallings, Laurence, 1894-1968. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
United States
Authors and publishers--History--20th century--Sources
Poets, Irish--20th century--Manuscripts
Novelists, Irish--20th century--Biography
Authors, Irish--20th century--Correspondence
Authors, Irish--20th century--Manuscripts
Novelists, Irish--20th century--Correspondence
Publishers and publishing--Correspondence
Poets, Irish--20th century--Correspondence
Autobiographical fiction


Birth 1902-04-29

Death 2000-02-02






Ark ID: w6sf3bz8

SNAC ID: 72045814