The Francis Stuart Papers consist of four materials types: manuscripts, workbooks, correspondence and publisher files. Although the collection covers the years during which almost all of Stuart's novels and plays were published, the documentation of his known literary work is thin. The papers document well only the author's work from 1940 to 1975, including only two published novels, Victors and Vanquished (1959) and Black List (1975). The thirties, during which Stuart wrote some of his best known novels such as The Coloured Dome, and Try the Sky, are not covered by this collection. It provides, however, extensive notes and manuscripts of some of his unpublished novels, among them: The Water Gardener, A Trip Down the River, and Back to Suffer. The papers contain complete manuscripts of Black List and two of his five published plays. The major part of the third series of this collection, letters and clippings, is related to Stuart's literary work. Nevertheless, some information about the writer's life and interests is given through the correspondence with his wife, Iseult Gonne, and acquaintances.
The Manuscript section (1940-1971), the largest segment of the collection, contains primarily drafts of novels, plays, and short stories by Francis Stuart. Included in this series are the drafts of his unpublished novels Back to Suffer (begun in June 1960), A Trip Down the River (begun in November 1962) as well as a fragment of The Water Gardener (begun in November 1962). This series also documents a large part of Stuart's plays. Researchers interested in the development of an individual work will find Stuart's novel, Victors and Vanquished, to be the most extensively documented work in this and the following series.
The Workbook section of this collection contains notes on some of Stuart's published and unpublised novels, most of which are included in the manuscripts section. This largely contains extensive notes on Victors and Vanquished.
The Correspondence section includes letters from Stuart's family, friends, and acquaintances, among them such notables as Heinrich Boll, Compton Mackenzie, Liam O'Flaherty (1 folder), Ethel Mannin, George Duhamel, Ezra Pound, and George Bernard Shaw. Most of these letters contain literary criticism with regard to Stuart's works. This series also contains correspondence with Stuart's publishers, among them one folder with letters from Victor Gollancz LTD., who published a great part of the author's novels. The collection also includes personal letters from his wife, Iseult Gonne Stuart, documenting family matters.
The publisher files are from Victor Gollancz Ltd for all of Stuart's eleven books for them. These files date from 1932 to 1998 and include original signed contracts, reader's reports, correspondence and rights materials.