The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1961) is generally considered Murial Sparks' crowning achievement. It is a memorable story mostly because of the unflappable Miss Brodie and her set was privy to her in her "prime." Miss Bordie is a spinster, in Edinburgh, who teaches her students in a very unconventional manner. That is she teaches them things that interest her and regales them with tales of her past and vacations to Italy and other places on the continent rather than the conventional curriculum. Furthermore, she has them around her flat and takes them to cultural events and visiting her lover, the music teacher, despite her love for the married art teacher. Her endeavors to shape and form her 'set' and perhaps unwittingly, manipulate her students in the worst ways-she had some notion of having one of the set become the lover of the art teacher and encourages another to join the Spanish War where she is killed on a train on her way there. There is an undercurrent of religion and morality that I can't quite get my head around, in that one of the girls becomes a Catholic nun (despite being the girl who slept with the art teacher) and has written a well-received psychology book and turns out to be the one who betrays Miss Brodie by giving the administration some information (her appreciation of Mussolini and fascists) that led to her dismissal. The politics of Miss Brodie are much more straight forward but no less unconventional. It turns out that she was supported by Graham Greene and like him became a Catholic late in life-she mentions had Miss Brodie found that religion it might have saved her-however, I can't quite make out why. That being said, it was an entertaining novel and quite funny at times.