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The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie

Cover of The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie

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In the classic work that launched a play, a movie, and a song, Muriel Spark tells the darkly intriguing story of an eccentric Edinburgh teacher and the intense relationship she develops with six of her students.

At the staid Marcia Blaine School for Girls, in Edinburgh, Scotland, teacher extraordinaire Miss Jean Brodie is unmistakably, and outspokenly, in her prime. She is passionate in the application of her unorthodox teaching methods, preaching the value of art, passion, and daring. She is also passionate in her attraction to the married art master, Teddy Lloyd, in her affair with the bachelor music master, Gordon Lowther, and—most important—in her dedication to "her girls," the students she selects to be her crème de la crème. Fanatically devoted, each member of the Brodie set—Eunice, Jenny, Mary, Monica, Rose, and Sandy—is "famous for something," and Miss Brodie strives to bring out the best in each one. Determined to instill in them independence, passion, and ambition, Miss Brodie advises her girls, "Safety does not come first. Goodness, Truth, and Beauty come first. Follow me."

And they do. But one of them will betray her.

Told from the unsympathetic perspective of one of Miss Brodie's students, this novel explores themes of innocence, betrayal, and the tension between cold rationality and unchecked emotionalism.

In the classic work that launched a play, a movie, and a song, Muriel Spark tells the darkly intriguing story of an eccentric Edinburgh teacher and the intense relationship she develops with six of her students.

At the staid Marcia Blaine School for Girls, in Edinburgh, Scotland, teacher extraordinaire Miss Jean Brodie is unmistakably, and outspokenly, in her prime. She is passionate in the application of her unorthodox teaching methods, preaching the value of art, passion, and daring. She is also passionate in her attraction to the married art master, Teddy Lloyd, in her affair with the bachelor music master, Gordon Lowther, and—most important—in her dedication to "her girls," the students she selects to be her crème de la crème. Fanatically devoted, each member of the Brodie set—Eunice, Jenny, Mary, Monica, Rose, and Sandy—is "famous for something," and Miss Brodie strives to bring out the best in each one. Determined to instill in them independence, passion, and ambition, Miss Brodie advises her girls, "Safety does not come first. Goodness, Truth, and Beauty come first. Follow me."

And they do. But one of them will betray her.

Told from the unsympathetic perspective of one of Miss Brodie's students, this novel explores themes of innocence, betrayal, and the tension between cold rationality and unchecked emotionalism.

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    9 - 12

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About the Author-
  • Muriel Spark (1918–2006) was born in Edinburgh, Scotland. She was the author of over twenty novels, including The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, as well as critical biographies, radio plays, children's books, poetry, and short-story collections. She was made a Dame of the British Empire in 1993 and a Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres in 1996.

Reviews-
  • AudioFile Magazine In Spark's dark novel, Miss Jean Brodie is a study in off-center individualism. As a teacher, she creates her own ideas of what her pupils need to know and takes pains to avoid the limits others may place upon her at a time when most women accepted these types of limitations. Her pre-feminist practices ultimately result in her being fired as a result of the betrayal of one of her students. Narrator Nadia May's voices are an almost musical backdrop to the story; her accents dance gracefully with one another throughout all types of interaction. Miss Jean Brodie's eccentricities and the author's use of time shifts are not lost in May's reading. May keeps the reader right by her side. L.B.F. (c) AudioFile 2007, Portland, Maine
  • Chicago Tribune A perfect book.
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    Blackstone Audio, Inc.
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    All copies of this title, including those transferred to portable devices and other media, must be deleted/destroyed at the end of the lending period.

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