Book Review: The Prime Of Miss Jean Brodie By Muriel Spark


At the staid Marcia Blaine School for Girls in Edinburgh, Scotland, teacher extraordinaire Miss Jean Brodie is unmistakably, and outspokenly, in her prime. She is passionate in the application of her unorthodox teaching methods and strives to bring out the best in each one of her students. Determined to instill in them independence, passion, and ambition, Miss Brodie advises them, “Safety does not come first. Goodness, Truth, and Beauty come first. Follow me.” And they do–but one of them will betray her.


This novel takes us to Edinburgh in the ‘30s. Where a teacher/mistress named Miss Jean Brodie has taken an interest in 6 of her students who are known as ‘The Brodie Set’.

Jean loves to go on about being in her prime throughout. It doesn’t matter what age you are, everyone reaches it at different times. Anyone in her classes are being taught in her own unorthodox way of life.

With the particular ‘Brodie Set’ they see Jean outside of school hours for plays and such. Be aware these kids are only 10 at the start of the novel. Jean goes on to discuss what they will be like in the future. Speaking of 10 year olds and talking about their sexuality was a little disturbing for myself.

It is so weird the amount of influence she has over these young women. I found it so interesting to see how these women turned out as they were growling during their impressionable age.

I really wished we could have seen more of an insight into Jean’s thoughts as we could only see from the kids points of views. I really did not agree with Brodie when she called a married man the ‘love of her life’ when clearly he a pervert luring after young children and later sleeping with one of them! She had one kiss with the man and deemed him as the love of her life, really?

Apart from that and the influencing of making them have sex with the teacher, it was an intriguing read.

5/5 Stars


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