The Book, Cat, & Cat Book Lovers Almanac

of historical trivia regarding books, cats, and other animals. Actually this blog has evolved so that it is described better as a blog about cats in history and culture. And we take as a theme the advice of Aldous Huxley: If you want to be a writer, get some cats. Don't forget to see the archived articles linked at the bottom of the page.

February 1, 2017

February 1, 1918

We can I think take the word of her biographer, that Muriel Spark (February 1, 1918 to April 13, 2006),
was, after the death of Graham Greene, "the greatest living British writer." (Muriel Spark: The Biography, Martin Stannard, (2009)).

He mentions in this text the much quoted advice to a would-be writer in Spark's novel A Far Cry from Kensington:  “If you want to concentrate deeply on some problem, and especially some piece of writing or paper-work, you should acquire a cat."

Some of her other titles include:

(ed) Selected Poems of Emily Brontë, 1952;
Child of Light: a Reassessment of Mary Shelley, 1951, 
John Masefield, 1953, 
(joint) Emily Brontë: her Life and Work, 1953; 
(ed) The Brontë Letters, 1954;
(ed jointly) Letters of John Henry Newman, 1957;  

The Fanfarlo and Other Verse, 1952; 
Going Up to Sotheby’s and other poems, 1982; 
All the Poems of Muriel Spark, 2004; 

The Comforters, 1957;
The Go-Away Bird, 1958; 
Memento Mori, 1959 (adapted for stage, 1964; televised, BBC, 1992); 
The Ballad of Peckham Rye, 1960 (Italia prize, for dramatic radio, 1962); 
The Bachelors, 1960; 
Voices at Play, 1961; 
The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, 1961 (adapted for stage, 1966, filmed 1969, and BBC TV, 1978); 
Doctors of Philosophy (play), 1963; 
The Girls of Slender Means, 1963 (adapted for radio, 1964, and BBC TV, 1975); 
The Mandelbaum Gate, 1965 (James Tait Black Memorial Prize); 
The Public Image, 1968; 
The Very Fine Clock (for children), 1969 (Edward Gorey illustrated this book).
The Driver’s Seat, 1970 (filmed 1974); 
Not to Disturb, 1971; 
The Hothouse by the East River, 1973; 
The Abbess of Crewe, 1974 (filmed 1977); 
The Takeover, 1976; 
Territorial Rights, 1979; 
Loitering with Intent, 1981; 
Bang-Bang You’re Dead and other stories, 1982; 
The Only Problem, 1984; 
A Far Cry from Kensington, 1988; 
Symposium, 1990; 
The French Window and The Small Telephone (for children), 1993; 
Reality and Dreams, 1996; 
Aiding and Abetting, 2000; 
The Finishing School, 2004

Stannard quotes: "The one critic she relied on was her Persian cat, Bluebell, [who was] “a gifted clairvoyante.” Her autobiography was Curriculum Vitae, published in 1992;

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