Apologies for lack of posts this week but at the beginning of the month it was looking as though my blog word count was in danger of overtaking my coursework word count and as much as I like blogging I do kind of need a degree… So this week, in between revising for my first exam on Wednesday, I have read ‘The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie’ by Muriel Spark – a short, witty novel about betrayal and shattering illusions. Set mostly in Edinburgh in the 1930s, the crème de la crème of the Marcia Blaine School for Girls are taken under the wing of eccentric Scottish schoolmistress Miss Jean Brodie whose influence on her impressionable pupils has huge consequences on all of their lives. The plot is almost as unconventional as the characters and the structural complexity of the novel is extremely subtle making the reader feel almost as manipulated by Miss Brodie’s glamorously eccentric ways as her pupils are. Spark’s method of revealing what happened to each of the Brodie Set before and after the betrayal is also very effective and shuttles backwards and forwards over time effortlessly. Her dry wit is perfectly weaved into her deceptively simple style of writing with its sinister undertones.
Is Miss Jean Brodie truly evil or just an egoist? Either way, she is certainly an immortal creation and the book remains in its prime some five decades after its first publication.