SPARK, Muriel. The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie. London: Macmillan & Co., 1961.
8vo., Original turquoise cloth, lettered in gilt to spine; original unclipped pictorial dust-jacket with design by Victor Reinganum; pp. [iv], 170, [ii]; boards a little scuffed and dirtied to edges, some minor restoritive colouring to the lower edge; internally the odd spot, but else near-fine, in the jacket which is toned internally but externally also near-fine, with very slight wear to foot and lower panel; an exceptionally bright copy, retaining, unusually, all of the colour to the spine.
"Safety does not come first. Goodness, Truth, and Beauty come first." So speaks the protagonist of Spark's most famous book. Set in Edinburgh in the 1930s, the novel revolves around Miss Brodie, a schoolmistress, and her pupils. It was caterpaulted to fame after the award-winning film adaptation, starring Maggie Smith, was released in 1969, and the novel was ranked 76 on its list of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century by the Modern Library. The main character, it is believed, was influenced by a teacher from Spark's own school days, Christina Kay, who encouraged her to become a writer. Spark later claimed that "What filled our minds with wonder and made Christina Kay so memorable was the personal drama and poetry within which everything in her classroom happened."