Stuart, Mark 1970–
Stuart, Mark 1970–
PERSONAL: Born 1970.
CAREER: Biographer and educator. University of Nottingham, School of Politics and International Relations, Nottingham, England, research fellow with the Faculty of Law and Social Sciences.
Douglas Hurd: The Public Servant: An Authorised Biography, Mainstream (Edinburgh, Scotland), 1998.
John Smith: A Life, Politico's (London, England), 2005.
SIDELIGHTS: Mark Stuart has written biographies focusing on some of Great Britain's political leaders, including his book John Smith: A Life. With unlimited access to the papers of the former Labour Party leader, Stuart recounts the life of an immensely popular British politician who many believed would eventually become the next prime minister before Smith died unexpectedly in 1994 at the age of fifty-five. Stuart delves into Smith's early life, from his youth and Presbyterian upbringing to his days at Glasgow University as a star debater. He then follows Smith's career in the Scottish bar and ultimately as a popular Labour leader. Stuart also provides a closing chapter that considers the consequences of Smith's death. A contributor to Great Britain's Guardian commented on the dichotomy of Smith's stature in British politics, noting that his "current historical reputation is trapped between two extreme interpretations: he is seen as largely irrelevant by Labour arch-modernisers, and as an almost saintly figure by his adorers." Writing in Progress magazine, Lord Borrie commented, "Mark Stuart has done us all a service by researching deeply and writing—in an agreeably easy, readable style—this detailed study of John Smith." Borrie went on to write, "This work will help ensure his legacy is remembered." In a review on the Arts.telegraph Web site, Anthony Howard noted, "Mark Stuart … has done a diligent and thoroughly-researched job. While this book will probably prove to include rather too much Canaletto detail for the general reader, its author does also contrive to build up an authentic and convincing portrait of his subject."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Guardian (London, England), June 13, 2005, "Neither Saint nor Sideshow," announcing publication of John Smith: A Life.
Progress (London, England), September 5-October 5, 2005, Lord Borrie, review of John Smith.
Arts.telegraph, http://arts.telegraph.co.uk/ (March 27, 2005), Anthony Howard, review of John Smith.
University of Nottingham School of Politics and International Relations Web site, http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/politics/ (March 27, 2006), brief faculty profile of author.