Gillespie's High School Magazine

July 1930 - 1935, 1938.

[SPARK, Muriel]

THE MOST COMPREHENSIVE SAMPLE OF MURIEL SPARK'S EARLIEST PUBLISHED WORKS

[SPARK, Muriel] Gillespie's High School Magazine July 1930 - 1935, 1938.

Gillespie's High School, 1935.

Seven volumes of Muriel Spark's annual school magazine. Original brown paper wrappers lettered in burgundy. Illustrated with photographic reproductions from the school year. A very well preserved set indeed, with a central crease to the first volume.

An excellent set of school magazines from Muriel Spark's (then Muriel Camberg) alma mater, including some of her earliest appearances in print, and announcements relating to her education and later marriage.
The issue for 1930, which publishes five poems, introduces the twelve year old Spark with the preface "It is very seldom that we print more than one contribution from any one author, but the work of Muriel Camberg, aged twelve (2 Sen. A) is so much out of the ordinary that we feel it worth while to give the following five of her poems".
The issue for 1931 publishes two poems entitled 'Starshine' and 'Other Worlds' and announces her winning of her form's French prize for the year. It also has an article about 'The Door Of Youth', a pamphlet of poetry by Edinburgh school children, announcing that "our own contributors figure quite prominently, specially noticeable being the first little effusions of young Muriel Camberg, who for number and quality occupies a premier position." The 1932 issue also publishes two poems by Camberg, including a long poem entitled 'Says Beetle', and announces her winning of a scholarship for the following year, entitling a remission of fees. It also announces Spark's second prize in English, Latin and Science, and third prize in Mathematics that year. The issue for 1933 publishes three of Spark's poems - her ability as a poet evidently causing annual exception to the one poem per student custom - including 'Out Of A Book' in recognition of her award of the Heather Club prize on the centenary of Walter Scott's death. It also announces her retention of the scholarship award for the next year, as well as second prizes for English and Science.
The 1934 issue publishes a poem entitled 'Dust' and announces Spark's winning of the Sir Walter Scott Club Prize and the Burns Club Prize. The 1935 issue notes Spark's achieving a day school certificate, while the 1938 issue - Spark had by then left the school - announces her marriage to Sydney Spark.
Later, in an essay in the New Yorker about the influence of her time at Gillespie's on her work, and particularly on how her teacher Miss Christina Kay was the basis for her later creation Miss Jean Brodie, Spark wrote "My poems in the school magazine were often influenced by Miss Kay's lessons on relativity. One of the library books recommended by her was "The Mysterious Universe," by Sir James Jeans, a famous popular astronomer. I wrote poems about the universe, such as one in which the inhabitants of other planets "Look up to the sky and say / 'The Earth twinkles clearly tonight.' "[from 'The Stars', 1930] Miss Kay predicted my future as a writer in the most emphatic terms."

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