Friday, July 17, 2015

Top ten single women in literature

Rachel Cooke, an award-winning journalist who writes for the Observer and is the television critic for the New Statesman, is the author of Her Brilliant Career: Ten Extraordinary Women of the Fifties.

One of Cooke's top ten spinsters, as shared at the Guardian:
Miss Jean Brodie
(The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie)

“All my pupils are the crème de la crème,” says the heroine of Muriel Spark’s 1961 novel (later a film, starring Maggie Smith), before going on to regale the girls of Marcia Blaine school with descriptions of her youthful romance with a chap who “fell on Flanders field”. Alas, Brodie’s passion for Mussolini eventually supplants her peculiar educational ideals. Dismissed, she spends her retirement pondering the identity of the girl who betrayed her, though not until her last moments is she able to imagine that it was the piggy-eyed Sandy, her most trusted confidante, who grasped the fatal knife.
Read about another entry on the list.

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie is among Karin Altenberg's top ten books about betrayal, Megan Abbott's five most dangerous mentors in fiction, the Barnes & Noble Review's list of five top books on teaching and learning and Ian Rankin's six best books. Miss Jean Brodie is one of John Mullan's ten best teachers in literature.

--Marshal Zeringue