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The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel…
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The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1961)

by Muriel Spark

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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4,0841321,781 (3.74)494
1960s (66)
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English (126)  Dutch (1)  Italian (1)  French (1)  Catalan (1)  Norwegian (1)  All languages (131)
Showing 1-5 of 126 (next | show all)
a book with one foot in the present and one in the past (or at least a split in the narrative discourse), and yet concerned only with what takes place within its own walls - it only once (at the beginning of chapter three) explores the wider implications of miss jean brodie. not that that matters; she's such a fascinating, elusive character that i could have spent longer with her.
(hot take: she deserved to get betrayed despite being interesting.) ( )
  livingtoast | Jan 23, 2019 |
אחד הספרים הטובים והמיוחדים שקראתי אי פעם. לא ברור לי בדיוק למה, אולי הסגנון, אולי האפיון המדהים של הדמויות, אולי העלילה ששונה מכל מה שניתן לדמיין. ממש יצירת מופת קטנה ( )
  amoskovacs | Nov 3, 2018 |
There's something vaguely unsettling about this book and it's something I can't quite put my finger on. I think it derives from the way that Jean Brodie has such control over the girls - how she practises the fascism she so keenly admires, despite claiming that she is merely drawing forth what already exists in the girls. This is in itself disturbing - the book refers on numerous occasions to some form of predestination - the fate of the girls and Jean Brodie herself is already known (relating to the Calvinism mentioned in the novel). Perhaps it's an insight into how we educate and raise our youngsters - how charisma and a place of authority over others is such a finely balanced thing.
Sandy is my favourite character - her small eyes see everything as it really is and Jean Brodie cannot ever quite completely claim her. I love the way that the art teacher paints the girls and each painting resembles Jean Brodie in one way or another. Brilliant.
I found it strange that Sandy becomes a nun and psychologist - she takes the art teacher's Roman Catholicism from him as a lover. Is it guilt?
Overall, a great book that like a strange and troubling dream will stay with me for a while. ( )
  sarahpeacock28 | Oct 21, 2018 |
You know the story, there's a movie with the same plot about once a year: eccentric, inspiring, unorthdox teacher breaks all the rules and opens her student's minds, changing their lives forever. Miss Jean Brodie is more interesting, because she is also dictatorial, a bully, and has some odd psychological issues that also change their lives forever - not necessarily in a good way.

I've had a couple of teachers who were similar, with a cult of followers that hung on their every word. They were never particularly interested in me, probably because I never trusted teachers much, and they picked up on that. This book deserves 4 or even 5 stars, but I only gave it 3 because I really hated Miss Jean Brodie. I think we were supposed to love/hate her, and find her amusing. I was just creeped out. So far, all the Modern Library Top 100 have unlikeable main characters. Can't we have a great modern novel starring someone I like? Still, it passes my rule for an excellent book: I was deeply engaged while reading it, and kept thinking about it afterwards.

I forgot to mention the best part of this book - the descriptions of the girls, and how they all wore their school uniform hats slightly differently. Nice touch. ( )
  JanetNoRules | Sep 17, 2018 |
In The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Muriel Spark tells of an unmarried instructor at a girls’ school in Edinburgh during the 1930s whose unconventional methods and devotion to her students both inspire and threaten the status quo. But is Jean Brodie really a good teacher? Well, let’s see: she steadfastly refuses to teach the standard curriculum, preferring instead to regale students with her personal philosophies and stories; she singles out a select number of students—the Brodie Set—for special attention to the detriment of all others; she is demeaning and cruel to students and colleagues who do not measure up to her standards; she convinces one girl to quit school and go fight in the Spanish Civil War (which does not end well); she encourages another student to have an affair with a married colleague who she secretly desires herself; and she openly promotes a dangerous fascist agenda in her classroom. So, my answer would be that Miss Jean Brodie is a horrible teacher who creates far more harm than good.

However, that is not the conclusion the author appears to want us to take away from this brief character study and morality tale. Based on an unconventional mentor from her own past who encouraged her to become a writer, Spark paints a nuanced and complicated portrait of Brodie—and particularly the relationship she cultivates with “her girls”—but one that is ultimately sympathetic in promoting the notion that she has somehow been betrayed by one of her former charges. (Indeed, this act of betrayal, which Brodie herself does not fully understand until the day she dies, is really nothing more holding a rogue teacher accountable for her own actions.) Beyond that flawed premise, the writing in this highly touted novel is frequently repetitive and heavy-handed in its use of foreshadowing—the reader learns quite early in the book everything that will play out on later pages. While The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie is regarded by many as a classic of modern literature, it is not a story that I enjoyed or would recommend. ( )
  browner56 | Sep 8, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 126 (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.
Quotations
'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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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0060931736, Paperback)

The elegantly styled classic story of a young, unorthodox teacher and her special--and ultimately dangerous--relationship with six of her students.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:30 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

A teacher at a girl's school in Edinburgh during the 1930s comes into conflict with school authorities because of her unorthodox teaching methods.

» see all 12 descriptions

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Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141181427, 0241956773

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