Dame Muriel Spark (Edinburgh 1918 – Florence 2006) was born Muriel Sarah Camberg and brought up in the Bruntsfield area of Edinburgh. Her parents were Jewish, although her mother was raised as a Presbyterian. She taught English, was employed as a secretary in a Princes Street department store, and during World War II worked for MI6. It was not until the end of the war that she formally embarked on her literary career. Spark’s first novel, The Comforters, was published in 1957, whilst her most well known work, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, followed four years later. She received numerous awards during her career. A review of her collected short stories in The Scotsman newspaper in 2001 described them as “one of the greatest collections of short fiction in English.” (Image courtesy of the London Evening Standard)