Monday, November 27, 2017

The Muriel Spark Centenary Symposium 2018

This event, which takes place at the University of Glasgow, promises to be one of the highlights of the Centenary.

The Symposium is organised by Helen Stoddart and Professor Gerard Carruthers of the University of Glasgow and members of staff of the National Library of Scotland, led by Colin McIlroy.

It runs for two days, February 1st (the date of Muriel Spark's birth) and February 2nd.  On January 31st there will be a reception and a screening of The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie.

It is now open for registration for all those interested.

For further details:  Click here

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Society ticket offer for Usher Hall event - 31 January 2018

The Edinburgh International Book Festival is holding a Spark event at the Usher Hall on 31 January 2018 - Creme de la Creme.  For details - Click here .

Believing that the Society should enjoy exclusive benefits to this event, one of our members has bought ten tickets.

These are all on offer to Society members only and are complimentary.

If any member would like one of these tickets, please contact Gail by email or telephone.

(Gail did ask the EIBF if they would consider including the Society in their discounted ticket deal but their offer was exclusive to their own Patrons and Friends.)

Friday, November 24, 2017

Spark event at the Usher Hall

Usher Hall event Creme de la Creme - Click here
The Muriel Spark Society, through its members, has been a key contributer to the support given to Birlinn/Polygon for the lovely new issues of the novels.  The Society thanks the publishers for accrediting this support in each edition.

The Bottle Imp

Professor Willy Maley of Glasgow University, proud owner of a Muriel Spark Society t-shirt, has sent this link to be shared with members;
Click here

The University of Glasgow is holding a two day 'Muriel Spark Centenary Symposium ' on Thursday 1 and Friday 2 February 2018.  (A screening of The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie is scheduled for the 31st January)
Look out for more details which will be published on this blog when information is finalised.
Our Annual Lecturer Ali Smith will be there.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Spark and Time - with Ali Smith

The Muriel Spark Society Annual Lecture 2017

Ali Smith and Gail Wylie at the 2017 Lecture 
on November 14th
at the National Library of Scotland, Edinburgh.

Appointment in Arezzo by Alan Taylor review – the truth about Muriel Spark

The Guardian review - click here .

Centenary Birthday Lunch

Our annual Birthday Lunch for members and guests, celebrating Spark's Centenary in 2018, will take place on Sunday 4 February at the Royal Overseas League, Princes Street, Edinburgh.

 Further details of price, times and bookings will be posted very shortly.

Annual Lecture 2017 and 2018

Ali Smith delighted her audience on Tuesday 14 November with an outstanding lecture which must make us all want to read or re read everything Spark wrote.  Thanks so much Ali - we hope to welcome you again.

Professor Allan Riach of the University of Glasgow will give the 2018 Lecture on her work as a poet.

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

Members' Visit to Umbria 2018

The visit to Umbria will take place 19-25 March 2018, through 'Learn Italy'.

We will be staying in Citta di Castello and visiting the paintings of Muriel Spark's favourite artist, Piero della Francesca in nearby towns, including Urbino. 

If anyone is interested in joining this trip, please contact Gail. 

Annual Lecture 2017

Tuesday 14th November will be the Society's 16th Annual Lecture and will be given this year by Ali Smith.

All tickets have been taken for this event but interest is still high - so please, if you have a ticket but can no longer attend, would you let the NLS know?

Alan Taylor's 'Appointment in Arezzo'

Alan Taylor's lively and engaging memoir of his friendship with Muriel Spark is to be launched on Thursday 9th November, 6.30 pm at the Saltire Society, Fountain Court, Edinburgh to which all members of the Society are invited.

Alan, a former Chair of the Society,  has generously included the following acknowledgement:

'Thanks, too, are due to the members of the small but perfectly formed Muriel Spark Society, which exists to keep the Spark flame alive.  I recommend joining it to anyone who has an interest in Muriel and her oeuvre.  May it go on its way rejoicing.'

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Makars’ Court 2008

The first permanent memorial to Dame Muriel is in Makars’ Court in Edinburgh
- thanks to the members of the Muriel Spark Society.
The stone was laid in 2008 for Dame Muriel's 90th.
See The Scotsman for further details.
Some photos and a video from the event below:

Makars' Court

Eric Dickson, Gail Wylie, Alan Taylor and Lorna Statham from the Muriel Spark Society 
and Deirdre Brock from The City of Edinburgh Council

For the Society blog of 31 May 2008 click here .

Video courtesy of Sean Groat at

Gail Wylie on the centenary

The Society is delighted to be a supporter of the centenary celebrations including the new publication of all Dame Muriel's novels by Polygon. 
See the Muriel Spark Centenary Editions at

For Gail Wylie’s centenary interview for Creative Scotland

Monday, September 18, 2017

Polygon publishes all the novels

Polygon are publishing all 22 novels over the next year. Edited by Alan Taylor, they each have an introduction by leading writers (including past Annual Lecturers such as Candia McWilliam and Ronald Frame). Each cover is a different colour; the back carries a photograph of Muriel at the age of writing that particular novel; on the cover a quotation from the text and a typewriter keyboard show the order in which the novels were originally published.  This stunning collection is a fitting testament to Spark in her Centenary year.
The Muriel Spark Society was able to help support this initiative through the generosity of its members and we will be acknowledged in each edition.
Visit Polygon's website ( or CLICK HERE to find out more.