CollectionFrancis Stuart Papers
Collection DescriptionThe Francis Stuart Collection at the University of Ulster comprises Stuart's own copies of the first editions of all his novels. It also includes many personal papers reflecting the different directions his life took. His personal papers include his diaries - those from the war years spent in Germany, his correspondence with Iseult Gonne, John McGahern, Frank Ryan and many others. Francis Stuart (1902-2000), of Ulster Protestant stock was born in Australia. His family later returned to Ireland and he grew up near Derry. Stuart became a very controversial figure in Irish literature due to his politics. He fought on the Republican side in the War of Independence 1920-21, was one-time son-in-law of Maud Gonne. Stuart went to Germany in 1939 as a university lecturer and remained there for the duration of World War II. He broadcast in English from Germany during this time and prepared texts for "Lord Haw-Haw", witnessed the fall of Berlin in 1945. Whilst in Germany he was interned by the allies for one year as a result of the English broadcasts. He was exiled from Ireland but was allowed to return in 1959. He wrote twenty five novels, three collections of poetry, essays, plays and radio scripts. His novels include The White Hare, 1936, Redemption, 1949, Flowering Cross, 1950 and an autobiography Black List, Section H in 1971. Black List Section H is probably his most acclaimed work. []
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The collection includes, for example:

Letters to the novelist Francis Stuart from publishers, for instance:
A letter from Sheila Hodges of Victor Gollancz regarding the first edition of a book by Francis Stuart (not mentioned by name), 21 October 1948.

A letter from Sheila Hodges of Victor Gollancz to Stuart in Freiburg, Germany, stating that she wanted to send him a food parcel, 22 March 1942.

A letter from Sheila Hodges of Victor Gollancz to Stuart, reporting that Stuart's book, 'Danny Boy' has not been favourably reviewed and that his book 'The Flowering Cross' has not been selling well, 28 September 1950.

A letter from Sheila Hodges of Victor Gollancz to Stuart, reporting that three American publishers were interested in Stuart's 'Pillar of Cloud' and 'Redemption', 22 March 1949.

A letter from Sheila Hodges of Victor Gollancz to Stuart, praising his book, 'The Flowering Cross', 'I think the way you have written it is indescribingly beautiful and moving', 18 April 1950.

A letter from Dotty Irving, Head of Publicity at Penguin Books, stating that she was delighted with the pre-publication sales of 'Blacklist Section H', no date.

A letter from Kathleen Turner, British Broadcasting Corporation, stating that the British Broadcasting Corporation hoped to broadcast extracts from Stuart's books, 15 October 1984.

Personal and other correspondence of Francis Stuart, including, for example:
Letter from Iseult (possibly Maud Gonne's daughter), Laragh, to Francis Stuart, mentioning her illness and poor financial status as she 'has to keep us all...old house needing constant repairs, fuel prices exorbitant...with a pair of invalids like Nini and me...Doctors and huge chemist's bills, another baby coming in a week or two etc. etc. We are never out of debt. I have hardly any clothes. Cannot afford another denture which I need badly', but offering financial assistance to Stuart if he is in need, no date.

Letter from Iseult, Laragh to Francis Stuart which states, 'I don't like to think of you so poor but we are all poor together' and that she was 'such a sorry wreck to look at. I'd almost give into self pity. So please try to come and let there be honest affectionate friendship between us', no date.

5 letters to Francis Stuart from his mother, c1930s, with additional letters, no date.

Letters to Francis Stuart from his daughter, Kay, 1939 and 1983.

A letter to Francis Stuart from Lynda Moran, Navan, thanking Stuart for returning her poems and asking for advice on where she should send them, 9 December 1982.

A letter to Francis Stuart from Lynda Moran, stating that she had won the Radio Teilifis Eireann poetry competition for 1983.

A letter to Francis Stuart from Lynda Moran thanking him for his kindness, 31 May 1983.

11 letters to Francis Stuart from Ethel Mannin, 22 January 1959-28 March 1965. For example, she notes that she was sending Stuart a new suit and some shirts, 22 January 1959 and that she was inconsolate after the death of her husband, 10 February 1959; that she was depressed at being sixty years of age and wanted Stuart and his wife to visit her at Clifden and have lunch with her in Dublin, 15 October 1960.

A letter to Francis Stuart from Patricia Ryan, Tipperary, stating, 'What a joy to listen to you on the radio', 2 July 1984.

A letter from Helen Hickey, Fermanagh, thanking Stuart for his past kindness and wishing him a happy 80th birthday, 'I would like to add a small Fermanagh voice to those of your friends who have reason to be grateful for your very existence and for all the good you have done in your life, 9 March 1982.

A letter from Leda [?] in Dublin, 'I would have sent Catherine 50 books had I known it meant a letter from you' and stating that she has 'to rush now and pawn my watch as hairdressers do not give credit', 30 December 1936.

A letter from Marie Ni Thuama stating that she was interested in the Abbey Theatre's rejection of Stuart's play on Terence MacSweeney, 22 October 1970.

A letter from Lady Emily Hemphill mentioning her lack of money, and that she hoped to meet Stuart in Dublin, 5 August 1938.

12 family photographs, showing Francis Stuart and his wife Madeleine, no date.

Folder containing handwritten second and third versions of Mary Jones' novel, 'A Time to Resist', no date, c1980s, published under the title 'Resistance' in 1985.

4 photograph albums of the Murphy family, which include a photograph of a unionist demonstration held in the Ulster Hall, Belfast with numerous women in attendance, 1912 and photographs of many female members of the Murphy family (mostly named), 1901-c1922.


AccessBy prior appointment.

Ulster University provides a detailed list of Stuart manuscript material.

Repository NameUlster University Archive & Special Collections, Coleraine Campus
AddressColeraine County Derry
UK Postal CodeBT52 1GA
Telephone+44 28-7012-4345
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