Francis Stuart

Born in Australia of Irish parents, he was educated at Rugby in England and lived most of his life in Ireland. He married Iseult MacBride, daughter of Maude Gonne and sister of Seán MacBride, when he was a young poet in the 1920s. He was encouraged in his early poetry by William Butler Yeats. During the Irish Civil war, he fought on the Republican side with de Valera. Controversially, he broadcast allegedly anti-Semitic sentiments to Ireland from Germany during World War II. At the time of his election to the position of Saoi in 1996, another member of Aosdána, poet Máire Mac An tSaoi, tried to have him expelled from the organisation over these alleged Nazi sympathies. He staunchly defended his standpoint and always denied charges of anti-Semitism, but Máire Mac An tSaoi subsequently resigned over the incident. He wrote over 30 novels including Women and God (1931), The Coloured Dome (1932); The Angel of Pity (1935); The Great Squire (1939); The Pillar of Cloud (1948); Redemption (1949); The Flowering Cross (1950); The Pilgrimage (1955); Victors and Vanquished (1958); Angels of Providence (1959); Black List, Section H (1971); Memorial (1973); A Hole in the Head (1977); The High Consistory (1981), Faillandia (1985); and A Compendium Of Lovers (1990). He also published poetry We Have Kept the Faith (1923) and Collected Poems (1992), along with some stage plays including Men Crowd Me Round (1933) and Strange Guest (1940).

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