Stuart, Francis

Tagged: Author

(1902-2000) Australian-born poet, playwright, journalist and author, in Ireland from infancy; in 1918, he married Iseult Gonne (1894-1954), daughter of Maud Gonne MacBride (1866-1953), and remained active in the IRA and in Irish politics until World War Two, which he spent in Germany as an Irish neutral, partly to continue his advocacy of Irish interests. This period – anatomized with chill brilliance in Black List, Section H (1971), his most famous single novel – shaped perceptions of the remaining decades of his long and controversial career. His literary career began around 1920, his first book being We Have Kept the Faith (coll 1923; exp vt We Have Kept the Faith: New and Selected Poems 1982). Of his many novels, some are fantasy, including Women and God (1931), Try the Sky (1933), A Hole in the Head (1977) and King David Dances (1997 chap), the latter being a metaphysical rumination addressed by an Irish-Hungarian archaeologist to the cosmos.

Novels of sf interest include Pigeon Irish (1932), set in a bleak battle-torn Near-Future Europe ransacked by surreal evidences of Technology gone amuck; Glory (1933), in which the world-dominating Trans-Continental Aero-Routes corporation (see Pax Aeronautica) is threatened by intrigues; and Faillandia (1985), which is set in an imaginary Ireland in the throes of a military takeover. [JC]

Henry Francis Montgomery Stuart

born Townsland, Queensland: 29 April 1902

died Fanore, County Clair, Ireland: 2 February 2000

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