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Grace Stuart papers

Identifier: SSC-MS-00157

Scope and Contents

This small collection consists of Stuart's writings from the 1960s, including an unpublished, semi-autobiographical manuscript entitled, "The Minister's Wife," and notes about trying to get it published. Also included are miscellaneous writings on being a dog owner and her experience as a college instructor. "The Minister's Wife" might be described as proto-feminist in that Stuart describes some frustration at the ways traditional gender ideology limited her without any explicit discussion about women's oppression as a larger structural and cultural phenomenon. The book also details the financial plight of the clergy and ways in which congregations oppress their ministers and their ministers' wives. Other major themes addressed by the collection include experiences of women writers, the impact of World War II on English civilians outside of metropolitan areas and the experiences of Anglican clergy and their families.

Dates of Materials

  • 1962-64

Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research use without restriction beyond the standard terms and conditions of Smith College Special Collections.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright for writings by Grace Stuart is owned by her nephew and literary executor, Jon Glover. For reproductions of materials that are governed by fair use as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission to cite or publish is required. For those few instances beyond fair use, or which may regard materials in the collection not created by Grace Stuart, researchers are responsible for determining who may hold materials' copyrights and obtaining approval from them. Researchers do not need anything further from Smith College Special Collections to move forward with their use.

Biographical / Historical

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]


0.438 linear feet (1 container)


Author and clergy member's spouse. This collection consists of Stuart's writings, including an unpublished, semi-autobiographical manuscript entitled, "The Minister's Wife". Also included are miscellaneous writings on being a dog owner and her experience as a college instructor. Other themes include experiences of women writers, the impact of World War II on English civilians outside of metropolitan areas and the experiences of Anglican clergy and their families.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Grace Stuart donated her papers to the Sophia Smith Collection from 1962 to 1964.

Processing Information

Finding aid revised 2002 by Gayla Spaulding, intern. Biographical note revised 2006.

Grace Stuart papers
Finding Aid
Finding aid prepared by mnsss.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Encoding funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Revision Statements

  • 07/26/2017: This resource was modified by the ArchivesSpace Preprocessor developed by the Harvard Library (
  • 2005-09-23: mnsss163 converted from EAD 1.0 to 2002 by v1to02-5c.xsl (sy2003-10-15).
  • 2017-07-26T17:48:12-04:00: This record was migrated from InMagic DB Textworks to ArchivesSpace.

Repository Details

Part of the Sophia Smith Collection of Women's History Repository

Neilson Library
7 Neilson Drive
Northampton MA 01063