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The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie

Part of the The Collected Muriel Spark Novels Series
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‘By 1960, Spark was a novelist of some renown. But it was her next novel, her sixth, which would make her famous and well off enough to determine where and how she wanted to live, and the books she would write. The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie is near perfect in its design and execution. It is at once traditional and experimental. Rich in period detail, it is nevertheless as spare and taut as one of Simenon’s thrillers and as light as a soufflé… So reliable was her income from The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie that she gratefully called it her ‘milch cow’. Readers may feel the same for it is a novel that never palls; it pleases and perplexes and produces surprises with every reading, and, like all great books, it is ageless, vindication of why its inspired creator became a novelist.’ From the introduction by Alan Taylor

This is one novel in the absolutely glorious, must-have, complete collection of all 22 novels by Muriel Spark. This series is a wonderful way to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Muriel Spark’s birth. Edited by Alan Taylor, author of Appointment In Arezzo, A Friendship with Muriel Spark, each perfectly sized and beautiful hardback book is introduced by a leading writer. Each introduction, while individually touching on thoughts and feelings, mentions the originality, the wit and humour, the cleverness of the writing. Whether an existing fan, or new to her works, this collection from one of our greatest writers, beckons, and quite simply, just asks to be read and re-read. ~

If you like Muriel Spark you might also like to read books by William Trevor, Shena Mackay and Iris Murdoch.


The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark

Edinburgh, 1930, and the world is on the brink of change. Leading the charge is the glamorous, free-spirited Miss Jean Brodie, schoolteacher at the Marcia Blaine Academy, whose guiding principle is `Give me a girl at an impressionable age and she'll be mine for life. I am dedicated to you in my prime.' While Miss Brodie manipulates and charms `her girls' - known as the Brodie Set - with notions of romance and heroism, tragedy and a cruel betrayal beckon.

This is one of the 22 novels written by Muriel Spark in her lifetime. ALL are being published by Polygon in hardback Centenary Editions between November 2017 and September 2018.

The Publishers acknowledge investment from Creative Scotland towards the publication of this book.

Supported by the Muriel Spark Society.


It has all the Spark trademarks: dark humour, a non-linear time frame, a sardonic and bleak view of human nature, and a talent to entertain – Val McDermid, The Observer

A profoundly serious comic writer whose wit advances, never undermines or diminishes, her ideas New York Times Book Review

A wholly original presence in modern literature -- Andrew Motion

She has a receptive and wholly distinctive genius -- A N Wilson Spectator

The care with which she uses words is matched by a gloriously carefree attitude. It's all part of her sanity, her breezy authorial self-confidence; and because of this I think that reading a blast of her prose every morning is a far more restorative way to start a day than a shot of espresso Daily Telegraph

About the Author

Muriel Spark

Muriel Spark, DBE, C.Litt., was born in Edinburgh in 1918 and educated in Scotland. A poet and novelist, she also wrote children’s books, radio plays, a comedy Doctors of Philosophy, (first performed in London in 1962 and published 1963) and biographies of nineteenth-century literary figures, including Mary Shelley and Emily Brontë.

For her long career of literary achievement, which began in 1951, when she won a short-story competition in the Observer, Muriel Spark garnered international praise and many awards, which include the David Cohen Prize for Literature, the Ingersoll T.S. Eliot Award, the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, the Boccaccio Prize for European Literature, the Gold Pen Award, the first Enlightenment Award and the Italia Prize for dramatic radio. She died in 2006.

Author photo © P A Archive and Press Association Images

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Book Info

Publication date

8th February 2018


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Polygon An Imprint of Birlinn Limited an imprint of Birlinn General


144 pages


Literary Fiction
Muriel Spark 100
eBook Favourites

Classic fiction (pre c 1945)
Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
Women's health



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