The 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.
The Francis Stuart Collection includes the author's own copies of first editions of his novels, manuscript drafts of the novels, drama and poetry. It also includes his diaries from 1942-1960, a very controversial time in his life. Press cuttings and personal correspondence with Iseult Gonne, his mother, his children and John McGahern, among others contribute to the overall comprehensiveness of this collection. There is also correspondence with publishers such as Victor Gollanc,Z McGibbon & Kee, Andre Deutsch, Chatto & Windus and Brandon Books.
40 volumes of first editions of Stuart's works, 15 folders of manuscript/typescript drafts of Stuart's works, 18 journals (Diaries) covering 1942-1960, 1 cassette tape of a radio broadcast, 1 scrapbook of newspaper cuttings and correspondence comprising more than 200 letters.
The Collection is listed in a two volume typescript catalogue which may be consulted in the Library at Coleraine.