Easton Press, Norwalk, Ct. Signed Limited Edition.
Personally signed by the late Muriel Spark.
Originally published in 1961, this story of an eccentric Edinburgh teacher who inspires cult-like reverence in her young students is Muriel Spark's best-known work. Declared "a perfect book" by the Chicago Tribune, this is a limited, Collector Edition personally signed by the author prior to her death in April 2006.
Additional Book Information
At ten years old during the 1930s in Scotland, six girls are assigned Miss Jean Brodie as their teacher: Sandy, Rose, Mary, Monica, Eunice, and Jenny. Miss Brodie, intent on their receiving an education in the true sense of the word educere, to lead out, would give her students lessons on art history or her love life and travels. Under the mentorship of Miss Brodie, the girls begin to stand out from the rest of the school as distinctively Brodie. In the Junior School, they meet the singing teacher, the short Mr. Gordon Lowther, and the handsome, one-armed Mr. Teddy Lloyd. These two teachers form a love triangle with Miss Brodie, each loving her, while she only returns affection to Mr. Lloyd. Miss Brodie never acts on her love, except once to exchange a kiss which Monica witnesses.
Dick Reed as Teddy Lloyd and Lauren Bloom as Jean Brodie in the theatrical version of The Prime of Miss Jean BrodieOne day Miss Brodie is absent for two weeks, entering into a love affair with Mr. Lowther instead of Mr. Lloyd, on the grounds that a bachelor makes a more respectable paramour. During these two years in the Junior School, Jenny "was accosted by a man joyfully exposing himself beside the Water of Leith."
Soon the girls are promoted to the Senior School, where, though dispersed, they retain their identity as the Brodie set. Miss Brodie keeps in touch with the girls after school by inviting them over as she would when they were her students. Miss Mackay, all the while, is trying to separate the Brodie set and find good reason from the girls to fire Miss Brodie. When the Kerr sisters, also teachers at the school, are employed as Mr. Lowther's housekeepers, Miss Brodie tries to take over their duties. She moves in with Lowther, and embarks on the task of fattening him up with extravagant cooking. The girls, now thirteen, visit Miss Brodie in pairs over at Lowther's house, where all Miss Brodie does is ask about Mr. Lloyd in Lowther's presence. It is at this point that Mr. Lloyd asks Rose, and occasionally the other girls, to model for his art. Each face he paints ultimately resembles Miss Brodie, details which her girls report to her and which she is thrilled to hear. One day when Sandy was over visiting Lloyd, he kisses her for peering at him with her little eyes.
Before the Brodie set turns sixteen, Miss Brodie tests them to discover which of her girls she can really trust, ultimately choosing Sandy as her confidante. Miss Brodie, obsessed with the notion that Rose should have an affair with Lloyd in her place, begins to neglect Lowther, who ends up marrying Miss Lockhart, the chemistry teacher. Joyce Emily steps briefly in the scene, trying unsuccessfully to be included among the Brodie set. Miss Brodie took her under her wing separately, however, encouraging her to run away to fight in the Spanish Civil War, where she immediately dies. The girls, now seventeen, begin to head in their different directions. Mary leaves the school to become a typist and later dies in the hotel fire. Jenny leaves the school early for a career in acting.
After the four remaining girls of the set graduate, Eunice becomes a nurse, Monica a scientist, and Rose finds a handsome man to marry. Sandy, interested in psychology, finds Mr. Lloyd's stubborn love and his painter's mind fascinating. For five weeks during the summer, when Sandy is eighteen, she has an affair with Mr. Lloyd, alone in his house while his wife and children travel. Sandy becomes less and less interested in Lloyd, and more and more with the mind that loves Jean Brodie. In the end, Sandy leaves him, takes his religion, and becomes a Catholic nun.
Before this, however, after the year is over, Sandy meets with the headmistress and blatantly admits she wants to put an end to Miss Brodie. Sandy suggests Miss Mackay try accusing her of Fascism, which results in the loss of her job. Miss Brodie could not, until the very end of her life, imagine that it was Sandy, her confidante, who betrayed her to the headmistress. Sandy, however, now Sister Helena and the author of "The Transfiguration of the Commonplace," remarks after Brodie's death that "it's only possible to betray where loyalty is due." When visitors come to visit Sandy at the nunnery, they ask what was her biggest influence in writing her book. Sandy replies, tightly gripping the bars of the grille, that it was a Miss Brodie in her prime.