Muriel Spark entry: Overview screen.
Writing and Life
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The publishing career of Muriel Spark spanned the later twentieth century, extending beyond each end of that fifty-year period. She began writing as a poet, and went on to short fiction, literary criticism, biography, journalism, and drama. Having come to prose fiction through narrative poetry, she only gradually came to take the novel genre seriously. Bibliographic Citation link. She is, however, best known for her twenty-three novels, and especially for The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, 1961. She experimented with the longer novel, but her critical and commercial success came with shorter works. She said she preferred 'minor' novels, in which she could explore precisely defined subjects within clear formal boundaries.
1 February 1918 Muriel Sarah Camberg (later MS) was born in a small rented flat at 160 Bruntsfield Place, in the Morningside district of Edinburgh, the younger of two children. Bibliographic Citation link.
July 1930 The magazine of James Gillespie's High School for Girls included five poems by Muriel Camberg (later MS), although it was not generally done to include more than one piece by the same girl. Bibliographic Citation link.
December 1930 The five poems by Muriel Camberg (later MS) already printed in her school magazine went on to appear in The Door of Youth, a poetry anthology by Edinburgh schoolchildren. Bibliographic Citation link.
5 October 1961 MS published her sixth and best-known novel, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, about an eccentric, inspiring, ultimately dangerous teacher at a girls' school. Bibliographic Citation link.
By March 2004 MS's twenty-third and final novel, The Finishing School, revolves round the relationship that develops between two novelists: a middle-aged creative writing teacher and his star pupil. Bibliographic Citation link.
13 April 2006 MS died of cancer in hospital in Florence at the age of eighty-eight. Bibliographic Citation link.
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