1 minute read

J. I. M. Stewart (John Innes Mackintosh Stewart) Biography

(1906–94), (John Innes Mackintosh Stewart), Eight Modern Writers, Oxford History of English Literature

British academic, critic, and novelist, born in Edinburgh, educated at Edinburgh Academy and Oriel College, Oxford. Among several academic posts, he was Tutor and Reader in English Literature at Oxford during 194973. He has written a critical biography of Hardy (1971), and studies of Shakespeare (1949), Joyce (1957), Peacock (1963), Kipling (1966), and Conrad (1968), while his Eight Modern Writers (1963) is the final volume of the Oxford History of English Literature. He is also the author of some twenty novels—Mark Lambert's Supper (1954) is the first—five of which (The Gaudy, 1974; Young Pattullo, 1975; A Memorial Service, 1976; The Madonna of the Astrolabe, 1977; and Full Term, 1978), entitled collectively A Staircase in Surrey, depict with some comedy the way of life in an Oxford college. He is best known, however, for the many successful detective stories and thrillers written under the pseudonym of Michael Innes. The first, Death at the President's Lodging (1936; US title Seven Suspects), introduced his detective, John Appleby of Scotland Yard. Other titles include Hamlet, Revenge! (1937), Stop Press (1939; US title The Spider Strikes), Appleby on Ararat (1941), A Private View (1952; in USA also as One-Man Show and Murder is an Art), and Appleby at Allington (1968). These are full of high spirits, though the conversation, stuffed with recondite literary allusions and quotations, often seems to take precedence over the detection. Among his thrillers, which show the influence of Stevenson and Buchan, are The Journeying Boy (1949; US title The Case of the Journeying Boy), Operation Pax (1951; US title The Paper Thunderbolt), and The Man from the Sea (1955; also in USA as Death by Moonlight). The autobiographical Myself and Michael Innes: A Memoir appeared in 1987.

Additional topics

Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: Souvenirs to St Joan of the Stockyards (Die heilige Johanna der Schlachthöfe)