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The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1961)

by Muriel Spark

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4,4101401,788 (3.76)515
A teacher at a girl's school in Edinburgh during the 1930s comes into conflict with school authorities because of her unorthodox teaching methods.
1960s (73)

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» See also 515 mentions

English (134)  Dutch (2)  Italian (1)  Norwegian (1)  Catalan (1)  French (1)  All languages (140)
Showing 1-5 of 134 (next | show all)
This slim novel tells of Miss Jean Brodie, who, in the prime of her life, takes six girls under her wing at the Marcia Blaine School, where they each will become famous for something and are (except for Mary), the crème de la crème. Miss Brodie is an unconventional teacher, to say the least, and the headmistress is always trying to bring her down. But what brings her down in the end is unexpected. An interesting character study. I can't say that I was enamored of this book as I have been by others from Spark, but I was glad I read it. ( )
  LisaMorr | May 23, 2020 |
A teacher her her "girls" & teaches them thru her experiences & values rather than the curriculum. At some point she not only teaches them but begins to "manipulate
them. She "label" them & guides them as puppets. What is being in one's "PRIME" mean? What is a good Eucator? "CREME D LA CREME" ( )
  evatkaplan | Apr 26, 2020 |
Hilarious. Good company for Anne of Green Gables and Little Women, although more modern. I'll seek out the movie adaptation (Maggie Smith in 1969 title role) now. ( )
  nicholasjjordan | Nov 13, 2019 |
Spark at her Sparkiest, taking what should by rights be a wistfully comic look back at her Edinburgh schooldays and turning it into a dark, difficult, morally complex - but hilariously funny - novel about sex and politics, betrayal and loyalty, romanticism and hard reality, eccentricity and conventionality, Catholicism and Calvinism, childhood's end, and the confusing historical moment of the 1930s. And all crammed into not much more than 100 pages of high-energy prose, with her classic mid-sentence ironic pauses destabilising the most harmless phrases and turning them into enough gunpowder to blow up this school.

It's a great book to re-read - you can do it in a couple of hours, and you will find something quite different in it from last time you read it. This time I found myself focussing on the way the story is tied into the historical moment, Miss Brodie's status as one of the many young women of her generation left a spinster because their men had been killed in the great War, and the way that anomalous position provided a kind of licence for them to behave in ways that would otherwise have been outside the pattern for their generation and class. That generation of women were still around when I was a child, and they were all quite special in their different ways, although of course I didn't think of it that way at the time... ( )
1 vote thorold | Sep 1, 2019 |
"Education means a leading out, from the Latin e out, and duco, I lead. Instruction is a putting in."

This is the guiding principle of Miss Jean Brodie in the Blaine School for Girls. Make no mistake; Miss Brodie views herself as an educator, not an instructor. But her execution is quite unorthodox. She gathers her "Brodie set" of six girls and proceeds to educate them while she is "in her prime" and following her own unique path in the world.

Though my career has been in the IT area, teaching is something I've done a lot of - to all age groups, small children to adults - and that I really like doing.

So what do I think of Miss Brodie? I'm a little in awe, but a little incredulous. She's scandalous, courageous and praiseworthy all in one. ( )
  steller0707 | Aug 25, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 134 (next | show all)
She writes with cool exactness, a firm voice (each tale has its own) and compassionate wit. In her new novel (originally published last fall, in shorter form, in The New Yorker), she deals with a violent woman whose romantic spirit is impatient with all but the Absolute.

» Add other authors (13 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Spark, Murielprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Alfsen, MereteTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Barbero, SilviaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Blythe, GaryCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dilé, LéoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
袁凤珠Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gripiõtēs, NikosTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gubler, AugustoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hirata, GeniTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kosturkov, ĬordanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Margolyes, MiriamNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
McWilliam, CandiaIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mihăiță, GigiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Naujack, PeterTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Özgören, PürenTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Omboni, IdaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Paz, MagdeleineTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pedrolo, Manuel deTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Periquito, MargaridaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rosen, Ingeborg vonTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Uhrynowska-Hanasz, ZofiaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Whitlau, W.A.C.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The boys, as they talked to the girls from Marcia Blaine School, stood on the far side of their bicycles holding the handlebars, which established a protective fence of bicycle between the sexes, and the impression that at any moment, the boys were likely to be away.
'This is Stanley Baldwin who got in as Prime Minister and got out again ere long,' said Miss Brodie. 'Miss Mackay retains him on the wall because she believes in the slogan "Safety First". But Safety does not come first. Goodness, Trust and Beauty come first. Follow me.
"We shall discuss tomorrow night the persons who oppose me' said Miss Brodie. 'But rest assured they shall not succeed.''No,' said everyone. 'No, Of course they won't.''Not while I am in my prime. It is important to recognize the years of one's prime, always remember that,..'
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Disambiguation notice
"La Vera Miss Brodie" is not the same work as "The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie": it is an Italian article. The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie = Gli anni in fiore della signorina Brodie (or Gli anni fulgenti di miss Brodie)
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Average: (3.76)
0.5 2
1 19
1.5 6
2 62
2.5 32
3 246
3.5 104
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4.5 59
5 235

Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141181427, 0241956773

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