chapter  9
On the Losing Side
Francis Stuart, Henry Williamson and the Collaborationist Imagination
WithMark Rawlinson
Pages 17

In this chapter, the author discusses the two writers and starts from indictments of collaboration with Hitler's Germany. It considers the reception of their work from the point of view of how readers collaborate in the production of literary meaning and value the contracts between author and reader invoked when writing is identified as autobiographical, and the interpretation of literary texts in relation to hegemonic historical contexts. The postwar novels of Francis Stuart and Henry Williamson have too often been read as tendentious life-writing rather than imaginative fiction. As Stuart and Williamson reimagined their own lives, they also revalued the stories through which the war has been interpreted in public history. Stuart's identification with Hitler's Germany was spurred by his antagonism towards perceived British moral and economic imperialism, and facilitated by his blindness to Adolf Hitler's policies and to Nazi practices.