Tam's Tall Tales

- Muriel Spark, Chronicler of Miss Jean Brodie

Graphic of Muriel Spark via Wikimedia

The crème de la crème of the Spark archive is to return home

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark is one of the most evocative novels set in Edinburgh before the Second World War. The graphic here is of the former James Gillespie's School attended by the writer Muriel Spark who lived in nearby Brunstfield Place. Her English teacher here, Christina Kay, became the inspiration for the main character of her novel, 'The Prime Of Miss Jean Brodie', published in 1961 and set in 1930s Edinburgh.

The book, which was turned into a successful film starring Maggie Smith in the lead role, was only one of many written by the Edinburgh born writer, but it is the one for which she is best known.

The National Library of Scotland is currently raising £250,000 to buy an archive of Dame Muriel's' papers. It promises to be a rich treasure trove, as the author reputedly threw almost nothing away.

It is rather touching that the papers will be returning to Edinburgh, as ironically the author herself returned to Scotland only rarely after her schooldays, living the last part of her life in Tuscany.

Please give me whatever feedback comes to mind via tamfromrampant@gmail.com.

Tam O'Ranter
May 2014

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