Wednesday, April 04, 2018

Centenary Concert for Muriel Spark, London

On the 13th of October in the Purcell Room in London's Southbank Centre, there will be a Centenary Concert for Muriel Spark.
This concert will include some favourite pieces of Dame Muriel's and new work which celebrates her poetry.  Penelope Jardine would be delighted to see members of the Society at this event!
For further details visit

'Addressing Spark'

On the evening of Tuesday June 19th the Society will be hosting its major Centenary event:
'Addressing Spark'.   Lyon & Turnbull, Broughton Place, Edinburgh are kindly hosting this talk, reception and small exhibition all related to how Spark painted portraits in words to create her characters.  Gail Wylie will be giving a short talk, and will be joined in conversation with Alexander Moffat, OBE, RSA to discuss painting his iconic portrait of Dame Muriel.
(This evening is invitation only.  Invitations will be sent in May to all members, and guests, of the Society.)

Monday, March 05, 2018

Two Dames

I was struck recently by certain similarities between Muriel Spark and Daphne du Maurier.  They may have very different narrative styles but they also have a surprising amount in common.  I wrote the following short piece, sent it to the Daphne du Maurier Society, and am delighted with their response.

The piece, titled 'Two Dames' now appears on the Daphne du Maurier website.
Click HERE for details

Gail Wylie

Thursday, February 08, 2018

The Guardian view on Muriel Spark

An excellent editorial from The Guardian

Pitlochry Winter Words

Alan Taylor, Rosemary Goring, Zoe Strachan and Louise Welch will all be discussing Muriel Spark in two different events at Pitlochry Theatre next week and next weekend.

Memento Mori is The Guardian's Reading Group choice

Join in the discussion! 

Modern Scottish Literary Manuscripts conference

This will be an excellent day in the company of a variety of  Spark experts and enthusiasts.  (In the lunch break take a short walk to the Writers' Museum to see their Spark exhibition too and the memorial stone laid outside.)
The Association for Manuscripts and Archives in Research Collections (AMARC; is organising a one-day meeting on Modern Scottish Literary Manuscripts at the National Library of Scotland on Thursday 19th April 2018.  In addition to various other talks, Dr Colin McIlroy of the NLS will be speaking on the subject of the Muriel Spark archive and will lead a guided tour of the Muriel Spark exhibition.  The registration fee includes morning and afternoon tea and coffee, as well as lunch.  The event is open to non-members (though anyone can join AMARC and we would be delighted to welcome new members).

Saturday, February 03, 2018

Our next event 'Addressing Spark'

The Muriel Spark Society's main event of the year is our reception, talk and small exhibition on June 19th, generously hosted by Lyon and Turnbull, Broughton Place, Edinburgh.

The talk and exhibition will consider how important dress and appearance are to Spark's characters.

Invitations to this evening event will be sent only to members of the Society and guests of Lyon and Turnbull.

Centenary Week

A packed week of centenary celebrations should have left nobody in any doubt that Muriel Spark was important.  The Usher Hall event, the BBC 2 Scotland documentary and the Symposium at Glasgow University brought the life and work of Dame Muriel to a wide range of readers.  The diverse range of papers at the Symposium brought so much to light, particularly the talks by Mark Curran, Robert Hosmer, Catriona Macdonald and Helen Stoddard.  Ali Smith enchanted her audience with her discussion with Zoe Strachan.  (Ali's 'Desert Island' book is 'Loitering with Intent')

The Society will bring this week to an end with our annual Birthday Lunch on Sunday 4 February to which we'll be welcoming existing and new members and our guests.  Happy 100th!

Spark Memorial - Letter in The Times

Tuesday, January 30, 2018