Stoppard, Tom

Stoppard, Tom

Stoppard, Tom, 1937-, English playwright, b. Zlín, Czechoslovakia (now in the Czech Republic), as Tomas Straussler. During his childhood he and his family moved to Singapore, later (1946) settling in Bristol, England, where he became a journalist. In 1960 he moved to London, where he became a theater critic and wrote radio plays. He first gained prominence with Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (1967), a witty drama about peripheral characters in Shakespeare's Hamlet. Stoppard is noted for his idiosyncratic style, artful and complex construction, deft parody, profound intellectuality, wide-ranging knowledge, and ability to find significance in wordplay and bizarre juxtapositions of language and character. In Travesties (1974), for example, James Joyce, Lenin, and Tristan Tzara collaborate on a production of Oscar Wilde's play The Importance of Being Earnest.

Many critics consider his Jumpers (1973), a play that includes gymnastics, murder, song, dance, and ethical discussion, and Arcadia (1993), a drama that takes place in both 1809 and the early 1990s and is centered on a 19th-century mathematical prodigy and a 20th-century literary scholar, his finest works. Stoppard's other plays include The Real Inspector Hound (1968); Dirty Linen (1976); The Real Thing (1982); Hapgood (1988); Indian Ink (1995); The Invention of Love (1997); and Rock 'n' Roll (2006). One of his most complex and acclaimed later works, the trilogy The Coast of Utopia (2002), explores the roots of the Russian Revolution via six late 19th-century intellectuals and their associates and spans 35 years.

Stoppard is also a skilled screenwriter; he was a main scriptwriter for Brazil (1985) and Empire of the Sun (1987), and won particular acclaim for his Shakespeare in Love (1998, with Marc Norman). He has also has written for television, and is the author of a novel, Lord Malaquist and Mr. Moon (1966), and short stories.

See P. Delaney, ed., Tom Stoppard in Conversation (1994) and M. Gussow, Conversations with Stoppard (1995, rev. ed. 2003); biography by I. Nadel (2001); studies by R. Hayman (1977), V. L. Cahn (1979), J. Hunter (1982); T. R. Whitaker (1983), M. Page (1986), S. Rusinko (1986), M. Billington (1987), J. Harty, ed. (1988), A. Jenkins (1987, 1990), K. E. Kelly (1991), R. A. Andretta (1992), T. Hodgson (2001); J. Fleming (2001), J. Hunter (1982, 2005), and H. Bloom, ed. (rev. ed. 2003); K. E. Kelly, ed., Cambridge Companion to Tom Stoppard (2001).

Miriam Stoppard MD DSc FRCP DCL (née Stern and subsequently Miriam Moore-Robinson born 12 May 1937) is a British doctor, author, television presenter and agony aunt.

Early life and medical career

Her father Stanley was a nurse and her mother Jenny worked for the Newcastle school dinners service. She was born in Newcastle-upon-Tyne attended the Central High School on Eskdale Terrace there and trained as a nurse at the Newcastle General Hospital (Royal Free Medical School). She went on to study medicine at King's College, Durham (which became Newcastle University in 1963). After qualifying as a doctor she worked at the city's Royal Victoria Infirmary and specialized in dermatology as a senior registrar. She then became a research director and then managing director in the pharmaceutical industry for Syntex.

Television Presenter

Dr. Stoppard became well known during the 1970s and 80s as a television presenter on scientific and medical programmes such as Don't Ask Me and Where There's Life.


She has written several books about health, including the famous Children's Medical Handbook, but particularly women's health.

She runs the agony aunt column in the Daily Mirror newspaper. Her company, Miriam Stoppard Lifetme, sells her books and health products.


She married Peter Moore-Robinson, alumnus of Great Ayton Friends' School and a Quaker, in 1962 in Hampstead. Her devoutly Jewish parents were not approving and virtually ceased contact with her.

She married the playwright Tom Stoppard in Maidenhead in 1972, and the marriage ended in 1992. They have two sons, Ed Stoppard the actor and Will Stoppard, married to famous violinist Linzi Stoppard.

Her niece is the former MP Oona King.

She married Sir Christopher Anthony Hogg in December 1997 in Westminster. He is a former chairman of GlaxoSmithKline and Reuters previous to 2004, and Courtaulds and Allied Domecq, who was educated at Marlborough. They have a home in London and in Gaillac, south-west France.


Stoppard was immortalised in the song "Architecture and Morality; Ted and Alice" by the band Half Man Half Biscuit:"The horrible sincerity of Miriam Stoppard makes me want to go out and commit mass murder".

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