"Give me a girl at an impressionable age, and she will be mine for life."Muriel Spark. Two First Editions, including: The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie. London: Macmillan & Co., 1961. First edition. Small octavo. 170 pages. Publisher's gilt-stamped green cloth. Very minor fading to spine ends. Short closed tear to front panel of dust jacket at spine; a few shallow creases near top edge, and some rubbing to back panel. Near fine. [and:] The Girls of Slender Means. London: Macmillan & Co., 1963. First edition, with "Advance Review Copy Special Notice" slip laid in. Twelvemo. 182 pages. Publisher's gilt-stamped blue cloth. Small bump to bottom of front board, at joint. Spine of dust jacket lightly sunned. Fine.
Dame Muriel Spark, the Scottish author of more than twenty novels, was named by The Times as one of "The Fifty Greatest British Writers Since 1945" and was known for her "finely polished, darkly comic prose and for the unforgettable Miss Jean Brodie, one of the funniest and most sinister characters in modern fiction" (Sparks' obituary in The New York Times).
Her novels, full of elegant and stinging language, had many admirers, including John Updike who described her writing as "fun-house plots, full of trapdoors, abrupt apparitions and smartly clicking secret panels." Her most popular novel is, unquestionably, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, the story of a Scottish schoolmistress and her favorite pupils, which went on to be adapted into award-winning stage and film productions starring, at various times, Vanessa Redgrave, Zoe Caldwell, Maggie Smith, and Geraldine McEwan as the imperious Miss Brodie.
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