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Muriel Spark



Dates: 1 February 1918 to 13 April 2006

Nationality: Scottish

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.”


Further resources


An interview of Muriel Spark by John Tusa may be found here.









© Ray Chidell 2010