Dates: 1 February 1918 to 13 April 2006
Occupation: novelist, poet, literary critic
Muriel Spark (née Camberg) is best known for her novel The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie. Born in Edinburgh, she had a role during the war in the Political Intelligence department of the British Foreign Office. The daughter of a Jewish father and an Anglican mother, Spark became a Catholic partly under the influence of Graham Greene and Evelyn Waugh. She was also impressed by the writings of John Henry Newman.
Comments on converting to Catholicism
“I’m still a Catholic because I can’t believe anything else. I’d often like to, but I can’t. … Perhaps the truth isn’t satisfying.”
“Catholicism gives me an inner stability which enables me to write better.”
“I really do think that the devil exists. I think evil exists. I think we see it everywhere.”
“I have great faith in the supernatural, the existence of something bigger than myself. And the Catholic Church seems to me to sum it up. Besides I like Christianity as a religion. I think it's awfully good. It's the best that there is, as far as I'm concerned.”
An interview of Muriel Spark by John Tusa may be found here.
© Ray Chidell 2010