Dame Muriel Spark (nee Camberg) was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1918 to parents Bernard and Sarah Camberg. She was educated in an all-girls school then went on to ‘study commercial correspondence and précis writing’ at Heriot-Watt College; her education took her into teaching English for a short while, and secretarial work.
During WWII Muriel worked as a propagandist for the Political Intelligence Department for the British Foreign Office, but once the war was over she concentrated on her writing, in particular poetry and literary criticism.
Muriel considered her joining the Roman Catholic Church to be important in her development as a novelist as it apparently gave her an insight into the meaning of human existence. Her first novel was published in 1957, named The Comforters, and centred on a young woman who discovers she is a character in a novel (I have yet to read it but it sounds fascinating!).
Her most popular novel The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie was published in 1961, which was adapted for stage and film in the 1960s, and for television in the 70s.
Muriel passed away on April 13th 2006, survived by her estranged son.
Ian Ranking Discusses Muriel Spark’s ‘The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie’
Artist Sandy Moffat Speaks of Painting Muriel Spark in 1984