To mark the centenary of her birth, The International Style of Muriel Spark is a major exhibition at the National Library of Scotland.
Born Muriel Camberg in Edinburgh in 1918, Muriel Spark, as well as being a highly respected and talented writer, was a prolific collector (some may say hoarder) of all sorts of paperwork. This exhibition features letters, notes, certificates, even dating back to her time at James Gillespie’s High School for Girls, where her teacher Miss Kay was famously the inspiration for Miss Jean Brodie.
Muriel Spark always had a great sense of style, and is quoted as saying that she bought as many clothes as she could afford while working in Small’s department store in Princes Street, Edinburgh in her teens, and the exhibition also features some of her dresses.
The highlight of the exhibition for me was seeing the notebooks containing the manuscript of “The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie”, a novel I have read many times and which went on to become one of my favourite films starring the wonderful Maggie Smith in the title role.
The International Style of Muriel Spark is on until 13th May, and admission is free.
Review by Lisa Sibbald