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Biography

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Overview (3)

Born in Edinburgh, Scotland, UK
Died in Florence, Tuscany, Italy
Birth NameMuriel Sarah Camberg

Mini Bio (1)

Muriel Spark was born on February 1, 1918 in Edinburgh, Scotland as Muriel Sarah Camberg. She was a writer, known for The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1969), Masterpiece Classic (1971) and The Driver's Seat (1974). She was married to Sidney Oswald Spark. She died on April 13, 2006 in Florence, Tuscany, Italy.

Spouse (1)

Sidney Oswald Spark (1937 - 1943) ( divorced) ( 1 child)

Trivia (8)

Biography/bibliography in: "Contemporary Authors". New Revision Series, Vol. 131, pages 413-420. Farmington Hills, MI: Thomson Gale, 2005.
She was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 1963, and was awarded an honorary membership in the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1978. She received honorary degrees from universities at Oxford, St. Andrews, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, and Strathclyde. Among her literary achievements were the US Ingersoll Foundation T.S. Eliot Award in 1992 and the British Literature Prize in 1997.
She lived for almost 30 years in the Tuscan village of Civitella della Chiana, Italy.
She had one son, Robin Spark, from her marriage whilst living in Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). Her son is a artist.
Born in Edinburgh, the only daughter of a Jewish Lithuanian engineer father and an English Episcopalian mother, she was educated at the city's James Gillespie's High School for Girls, where she thrived.
Her breakthrough came in 1951, when she won the Observer Short Story competition with an African fable with spiritual overtones entitled "The Seraph and the Zambezi". But it was not until 1957 that she published "The Comforters", the first of the novels that, in a very short time, were to make her reputation and her fortune. After this initial success, she returned to Edinburgh in order to write "The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie", a highly autobiographical novel based around her own schooldays.
She was awarded the OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) in the 1967 Queen's New Year Honours List and the DBE (Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire) in the 1993 Queen's Birthday Honours List for her services to literature.
She became a convert to Roman Catholicism in 1954, something which she later said she decided on very suddenly.

Personal Quotes (1)

[asked about her favorite portrayal of Jean Brodie] There's a different aspect in every one. Anna Massey and Vanessa Redgrave were really very good, and Zoe Caldwell in New York, they were all brilliant in their ways. But Geraldine McEwan really got the essence of it, probably because she had more time and space in it. She has more scope to express herself.

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