The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark

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.


Filed under Books

4 responses to “The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark

  1. nerdybookreviews

    Ohhh, this book sounds rather good! Never heard of Muriel Spark which is probably not a good thing, but after your little review I shall be looking out for this!


  2. mcresswell

    I loved this novel. A close friend of mine was introduced to it by her teacher at school twenty years ago, and I suspect that this friend has modelled her own teaching style entirely on Miss Brodie!


  3. An excellent novel. I read it for a book club many years ago, and I remember really liking it. Miss Brodie is a totally unconventional teacher and also a memorable character. Spark’s genius is that she created what appears to be a simple story in sparse prose, but it’s surprisingly effective and more complex than what it appears to be on the surface.


  4. I think Miss Brodie will always be in her prime!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.