Grace Stuart Papers
Born Agnes Grace Croll in Sheffield, Yorkshire, England, 1898. She studied first at the University of Sheffield where she received a degree in English Literature and French, circa 1919. She hoped to study to be a qualified teacher at Oxford University but this was delayed because of attacks of severe rheumatoid arthritis from which she had suffered from the age of 19. She took a post teaching English at a school in Manchester but it was not for her. She studied psychology but mainly through intense individual scholarship and contact with major figures in the field of psychology and psychoanalysis. She earned a living primarily through teaching for the Worker's Educational Association, writing and broadcasting. Much of her earnings went into subsidising the work of her husband and the life of the Unitarian Church.
She married Gordon L. Stuart, circa 1930. He became minister of the main Unitarian Church in Birmingham with a large and influential congregation and it is the influence and, in her view mis-used, wealth of the members of that church that is largely the subject of her unpublished manuscript, "The Minister's Wife."
Grace Stuart was prolific in a variety of genres including literary journalism (reviews) and children's stories that appeared in the press and in book form. She wrote four major books: The Achievement of Personality (London: Student Christian Movement Press, 1938); Conscience and Reason (London: George Allen and Unwin, 1951); Private World of Pain (London: George Allen and Unwin, 1953); and Narcissus (London: George Allen and Unwin, 1956). In the 1950s she gave regular broadcasts on BBC radio on what was then known as "The Home Service," now "Radio 4." She had a regular slot as part of a program called "Indian Summer" directed at the elderly and infirm.
She was a respected figure as a writer in the interdisciplinary fields of psychology and literary criticism with a strong leaning towards making her enormous knowledge relevant to personal and social issues. Her books were widely and positively reviewed in the national press and in relevant journals. There is a strong implicit sense of feminism throughout her life and in many ways it is also made explicit through her tireless belief in maintaining her personal independence despite her social situation and the terrible disability from which she suffered. Grace Stuart died in 1971. She had no children.
[Biographical information provided by Professor Jon Glover, nephew of Grace Stuart]