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Muriel Stuart poet and author of Gardener's Nightcap
Muriel Stuart néeIrwin (1885-1967) was the daughter of a Scottish barrister. After a private education she went to art school and then worked in publishing. Her early poems were published in small magazines to great acclaim, Thomas Hardy calling her work ‘superlatively good’. In 1916 and 1918 her first collections appeared; three more were published in the early 1920s. Muriel Stuart, who had a striking appearance and was said to look ‘like a poet’, is known as a Scottish poet because of her ancestry but she in fact lived all her life in London and Berkshire. Her first marriage was brief; after her 1922 second marriage to a publisher, Alfred William Board, and the birth of a son and a daughter, she stopped writing poetry and concentrated on her main love, which was gardening. In the 1930s she published Fool’s Garden (1936), a bestselling book about creating a garden; Gardener’s Nightcapfollowed in 1938.