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Francis Stuart Biography

(1902–2000), We Have Kept the Faith, The Coloured Dome, Pigeon Irish, Try the Sky

irish gonne themes war

Irish novelist, born in Queensland, Australia, brought up in Ireland, and educated in England. He married Iseult Gonne (Maud Gonne's daughter) in 1920, and his early poetry, which appeared in We Have Kept the Faith (1923), was praised by W. B. Yeats. Stuart was a man of action, keen on sports, and his early novels The Coloured Dome (1932), Pigeon Irish (1932), and Try the Sky (1933) reflect an interest in flying. During the Second World War he was in Germany, at first as a lecturer at the University of Berlin, but he became better known for his weekly broadcasts supporting Irish neutrality. Black List, Section H (1971), perhaps his best-known novel, deals intensively with this period; similar themes are explored in The Pillar of Cloud (1948) and Redemption (1949) which, with The Flowering Cross (1950), formed a trilogy. Memorial (1973), A Hole in the Head (1977), and The High Consistory (1981) deal with Irish political themes. An impassioned plea for the artist's independence of spirit is apparent in much of his work. A Festschrift for Francis Stuart on his 70th Birthday (1972), edited by W. J. McCormack, attests to the growth of his reputation in the years since the war.

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