The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark
(Perennial Classics)

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Synopsis

Muriel Spark’s timeless classic about a controversial teacher who deeply marks the lives of a select group of students in the years leading up to World War II “Give me a girl at an impressionable age, and she is mine for life!” So asserts Jean Brodie, a magnetic, dubious, and sometimes comic teacher at the conservative Marcia Blaine School for Girls in Edinburgh. Brodie selects six favorite pupils to mold—and she doesn’t stop with just their intellectual lives. She has a plan for them all, including how they will live, whom they will love, and what sacrifices they will make to uphold her ideals. When the girls reach adulthood and begin to find their own destinies, Jean Brodie’s indelible imprint is a gift to some, and a curse to others. The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie is Spark’s masterpiece, a novel that offers one of twentieth-century English literature’s most iconic and complex characters—a woman at once admirable and sinister, benevolent and conniving. This ebook features an illustrated biography of Muriel Spark including rare photos and never-before-seen documents from the author’s archive at the National Library of Scotland. 
 

About Muriel Spark

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Muriel Spark has been called "our most chillingly comic writer since Evelyn Waugh" by the London Spectator, and the New Yorker praised her novel Memento Mori ri (1959) as "flawless." Her fiction is marked by its remarkable diversity, wit, and craftsmanship. "She happens to be, by some rare concatenation of grace and talent, an artist, a serious---and most accomplished---writer, a moralist engaged with the human predicament, wildly entertaining, and a joy to read" (SRSR). She became widely known in the United States when the New Yorker devoted almost an entire issue to The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1961). Set in Edinburgh in the 1930s, this is the story of a schoolteacher, her unorthodox approach to life, and its effect on her select group of adolescent girls. Though their idol turns out to have feet of clay, she leaves an indelible mark on their lives. The Girls of Slender Means (1963), also warmly praised, is a sardonic look at the vivacity of youth and the anxieties of young womanhood. Reviewing The Mandelbaum Gate (1965) for the New Republic, Honor Tracy wrote: "There is an abundance here of invention, humor, poetry, wit, perception, that all but takes the breath away. . . . The story, in fact, is pure adventure, with the suspense as artfully maintained as anywhere by Graham Greene, but this is only one ingredient. There are memorable descriptions of the Holy Land, fascinating insights into the jumble of intrigue and piety surrounding the Holy Places, and penetrating studies of Arabs. . . . In each of [Spark's] novels heretofore one of her qualities has tended to predominate over the others. Here for the first time they are all impressively marshaled side by side, resulting in her best work so far." The daughter of an Englishwoman and a Scottish-Jewish father, Spark was born and educated in Edinburgh. After her marriage in 1938, she lived for some years in Central Africa, a period rarely reflected in her work. During World War II, she returned to Britain, where she worked in the Political Intelligence Department of the Foreign Office after the breakup of her marriage. She has been a magazine editor and written poetry and literary criticism. Spark has lived in London's Camberwell section, the setting of The Ballad of Peckham Rye (1960), but now makes her home in New York. Her novels reflect her conversion to Roman Catholicism.
 
Published March 20, 2012 by Open Road Media. 160 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Humor & Entertainment, Professional & Technical. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie

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Pub Date: Jan. 17th, 1961 ISBN: 0061711292 Page count: ...

Nov 02 2011 | Read Full Review of The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie...

Suite 101

Lawrence's classic contains a very peculiar ending for an early 20th century novel.

Oct 04 2010 | Read Full Review of The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie...

Time Out New York

Muriel Spark's wonderful slip-sliding novella is narrowed down and heightened in Jay Presson Allen's adaptation for Fox of her own stage play (drawn from Spark's book), which omits much sense of the wider, crueller world of the '30s outside the Marcia Blaine School for Girls in Edinburgh, where M...

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Star Pulse

Summary:Based on the novel by Muriel Spark, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie stars Maggie Smith in the title role.

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TheaterMania

Throughout The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie -- both Muriel Spark's minor-classic novel and Jay Presson Allen's articulate stage adaptation of it, now being revived by the New Group -- the bold and eccentric title character reiterates that she's in her prime.

Oct 09 2006 | Read Full Review of The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie...

Oxford University Press's Blog

Kirsty McHugh said: From @oupblog – Meeting Muriel Spark – http://shar.es/aQhLX [...].

Jan 07 2010 | Read Full Review of The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie...

http://windycitymediagroup.com

Playwright: adapted by Jay Presson Allen from the novel by Muriel Spark At: Signal Ensemble at the Chopin, 1543 W.

Apr 22 2009 | Read Full Review of The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie...

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