Muriel Spark

Author(s): Martin Stannard

Biographies & Memoirs

Muriel Spark ended was one of the great writers of the twentieth century. Hers is a Cinderella story, the first thirty-nine years of which she presented in her autobiography, CURRICULUM VITAE (1992), politely blurring the intensity of her darker moments: her relations with her brother, mother, son, husband; a terrifying period of hallucinations and subsequent depression; and the disastrously misplaced love she had felt for two men she had wanted to marry, Howard Sergeant and Derek Stanford. Aged nineteen, Spark left Scotland to marry in Southern Rhodesia, escaping back to Britain on a troopship in 1944 after her divorce. Her son returned in 1945 to be brought up by her parents in Edinburgh while she established herself as a poet and critic in London. After becoming a Roman Catholic in 1954, she began a novel, THE COMFORTERS (1957), and with MEMENTO MORI, THE BALLAD OF PECKAM RYE and THE BACHELORS rose rapidly into the literary stratosphere. THE PRIME OF MISS JEAN BRODIE (1961), with its adaptation into a successful stage-play and film, marked her full translation into international celebrity and from that point she went to live first in New York, then Rome, and finally Tuscany where for over thirty years, until her death in 2006, she shared a house with her companion, the artist Penelope Jardine.

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'A rich, complex, quagmire of a book, Muriel Spark is worth the wait, witty, readable and well researched - about as satisfying as a literary biography can be.' DAILY TELEGRAPH 'Stannard's triumph is to have produced an account that survived her scrutiny yet reveals her vanity and egotism so unmistakably.' SUNDAY TIMES 'A lively, engrossing and detailed tome' ***** SUNDAY TELEGRAPH 'Stannard has got under Spark's skin about as deeply as anyone could' -- Alastair Mabbott HERALD 'Spark invited the author to write her biography. In his hands scholasticism and sauce prove a fascinating, compelling mix.' HUDDERSFIELD DAILY EXAMINER

Martin Stannard is Professor of Modern English Literature at the University of Leicester and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. He lives near Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire.

General Fields

  • : 9780753827499
  • : Orion Publishing Co
  • : Phoenix (an Imprint of The Orion Publishing Group Ltd )
  • : 0.51
  • : August 2010
  • : 198mm X 129mm X 37mm
  • : United Kingdom
  • : October 2010
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Martin Stannard
  • : Paperback
  • : 1
  • : 823.914
  • : 672
  • : Illustrations, ports.