Muriel Spark

(born February 1918 - died April 2006 ) - Edinburgh

Muriel Spark

Muriel Spark was the grande dame of Scottish letters. A prolific writer, she has produced over twenty novels as well as works of poetry, drama, biography, non-fiction and children’s stories.

Spark was born Muriel Camberg in Edinburgh in 1918 and educated at James Gillespie's School for Girls (said to be the inspiration for The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, her best known novel). She worked in a succession of jobs before marrying Sydney Spark in 1937. The couple had one son, Robin, and lived in Central Africa for a while. When the marriage ended, Spark moved to London.

Spark’s writing career began early on when she won a prize in school but she first came to the public’s attention when she won a short story competition in the Observer. Since then her work has attracted numerous awards including the James Tait Memorial Prize, the Saltire Society Book of the Year Award and the FNAC Prix Etranger. Her work has been recognised internationally: in 1978 she was elected an honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and in 1988 to the L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.

Muriel Spark moved to Italy in 1967. Her long-awaited and much-acclaimed autobiography, Curriculum Vitae, appeared in 1992. In 1993 she was made Dame of the British Empire. Dame Spark died in her adopted home of Civitella della Chiana, in Tuscany, in 2006.

  • Cover scan of All The Poems
    All The Poems - Hardback
    This collection of poetry by Muriel Spark presents the full range of one of Britain's most acclaimed writers. It includes villanelles, ballads and epigrams, as well as freer forms, all marked by her sharp observations and command of her medium.
  • Cover scan of The Ballad Of Peckham Rye
    The Ballad Of Peckham Rye - Paperback
    Dougal is seen as a man of vision, a man who would breathe life into the Peckham firm of Meadows, Meade and Grindley. But before long, the unsuspecting workforce begin to manifest the results of Dougal's human research - mayhem, mutiny and murder.
  • Cover scan of The Comforters
    The Comforters - Paperback
    Caroline Rose has a very unusual problem. She knows that she is a character in a novel. She is plagued by the tapping of typewriter keys and a strange detached narration of her thoughts and actions.
  • Cover scan of Curriculum Vitae
    Curriculum Vitae: A Volume Of Autobiography - Paperback
    Muriel Sparks's celebrated autobiography has been unavailable since her death in 2006. This new edition adds a preface by the poet and biographer Elaine Feinstein.
  • Cover scan of The Driver's Seat
    The Driver's Seat - Paperback
    Lise is driven to distraction by her office job so, leaving everything, she flies south on holiday. But what is she looking for? Infinity and eternity attend Lise's last terrible day in an unnamed southern city.
  • Cover scan of A Far Cry From Kensington
    A Far Cry From Kensington - Paperback
    Mrs Hawkins, a comfortably large young widow, is often called upon to administer advice to colleagues and neighbours. But she follows her own advice, too, and turns from Mrs Hawkins into Nancy: quite a different proposition.
  • Cover scan of The Finishing School
    The Finishing School - Paperback
    Passionately determined to write his novel whilst running College Sunrise, a finishing school for both sexes and mixed nationalities, Rowland Mahler is assisted by his wife, Nina Parker. This term there is a new star pupil - Chris, 17, also determined to write his own masterpiece.
  • Cover scan of The Girls Of Slender Means
    The Girls Of Slender Means - Paperback
    In a Kensington hostel towards the end of World War 2, a group of well-bred, but impecunious young women, are leading lives of ritual femininity. All is well until their interlude of innocence is destroyed by the horror of the times.
  • Cover scan of Loitering With Intent
    Loitering With Intent - Paperback
    Would-be novelist Fleur Talbot works for the snooty Sir Quentin Oliver at the Autobiographical Association, whose members are at work on their memoirs. When her employer gets his hands on Fleur's novel-in-progress, mayhem ensues when its scenes begin coming true.
  • Cover scan of Memento Mori
    Memento Mori - Paperback
    Muriel Spark's 'Memento Mori', first published in 1959, is among the finest novels by one of the most witty and inclusive British writers of recent times. It tells the acidly funny story of a group of elderly people who start to receive threatening phone calls telling them 'remember, you must die'.
  • Cover scan of The Prime Of Miss Jean Brodie
    The Prime Of Miss Jean Brodie - Paperback
    Miss Brodie is a teacher who exerts a powerful influence over the group of 'special girls' at the Marcia Blaine Academy. Each is famous for something & are initiated into a world of adult games & extra-curricular activities they will never forget.
  • Cover scan of Symposium
    Symposium - Paperback
    Modelled on Plato's book, this book uses dialogue to reveal the mysteries of each guest at a north London dinner party. It reveals tales of the guests' pasts and futures.


Books about Muriel Spark

  • Cover scan of The Edinburgh Companion To Muriel Spark
    The Edinburgh Companion To Muriel Spark - Paperback
    This introduction traces the forms, history, impact, reception and themes of Muriel Spark's writing, from 'The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie' to 'The Finishing School', covering her entire work including her poetry, prose and criticism.
  • Cover scan of Muriel Spark For Starters
    Muriel Spark For Starters - Willy Maley - Paperback
    An insightful account of the world and work of Muriel Spark, this title offers lessons in life from 'The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie' to 'Finishing School.'
  • Cover scan of Muriel Spark's The Prime Of Miss Jean Brodie
    Muriel Spark's The Prime Of Miss Jean Brodie - David S. Robb - Paperback
    The Scotnotes booklets are a series of study guides to major Scottish writers and literary texts that are likely to be elements within literature courses.