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The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie

Lu par : Miriam Margolyes
Durée : 4 h et 45 min
2 out of 5 stars (1 notation)
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Description

"You girls are my vocation... I am dedicated to you in my prime."

So says Miss Jean Brodie, a teacher unlike any other. She is proud and cultured. A romantic, with progressive, sometimes shocking ideas and aspirations for the girls in her charge. When she decides to transform a select group of pupils into the 'crème de la crème' at the Marcia Blaine School they become the Brodie set. In exchange for their undivided loyalty, the girls earn a special place of honour and privilege within the school. Yet they are also introduced to a startling new world of adult games and intrigues, and as boundaries are crossed so the difficulties start to unfold.

Miriam Margolyes, one of Britain's finest character actors, gives a highly accomplished performance; rediscover this classic on the 100th anniversary of Muriel Spark's birth.

©1961 Copyright Administration Ltd (P)2011 Canongate Books

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Global

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Histoire

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  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Darwin8u
  • 12/09/2017

Primed for Classics

"I shall remain at this education factory where my duty lies. There needs must be a leaven in the lump. Give me a girl at an impressionable age and she is mine for life. The gang who oppose me shall not succeed."
- Muriel Spark, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie.

Published in 1961 and set in a Scottish girl's school in the pre-World War II period (1930s) when Fascism was favorable (among those in their Prime) and on the rise, 'The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie' tells the story of an unconventional teacher and her influence on a group or six girls (more probably, but the story focuses on six). It isn't original to say this, but it does read a bit like a female version of Dead Poet's Society, or perhaps A Separate Peace, but no not quite Lord of the Flies. Emotionally, the book resonates like Madame Bovary. Perhaps, one of the reasons the book vibrated so strongly with me is one of the pupils of Miss Brodie in her Prime reminds me of how I imagine my wife was in her tweens (Sandy).

A couple things sold me on this book. I loved its style and prose, and was enraptured by Miss Brodie with her unconventional, romantic, and desperate need to matter, to influence, to be something. As fallible as she is, and as amoral as methods (both in love and politics) become, there is something VERY human about her. The other character I loved was Sandy. Influenced by Miss Brodie, in her Prime, but just not in the way Miss Brodie intended, Sandy's romantic view of life mirrors in some ways Miss Brodie. But I loved the 10-year old Sandy with her wild fantasies about Alan Breck (see Kidnapped) or Mr. Rochester (see Jane EyreJane Eyre). Later her fantasy turns its full attention on Miss Brodie and her lovers. It is perfect.

Anyway, I read this because my natural man tends to gravitate more towards books written by men (just the statistics of classical books would do this), so when I think about it, I try and read a book I would normally pass over. I'm glad I found the radical Miss Jean Brodie while I was in my prime.

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  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Hermione
  • 09/03/2017

Excellent story and outstanding reader.

This classic story really comes to life as read by Miriam Margolyes, with her beautiful accent and the way she is able to help create each character in your mind with the voices she gives them. I was sorry when this audiobook was over.

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  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • DMC
  • 29/03/2016

SUPERB

A wonderfully written, intellectually complex, and insightful book. 'The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie' is a cautionary tale about what it is to teach and what it is to learn. Unfortunately for those who would teach, our best pupils may understand and apply what we teach more than we realize or welcome.

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  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Ree
  • 03/01/2019

A well woven tale, as sad as it is funny

A wonderful reading of a richly told story of a ridiculous woman, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie is a slow burn of a tale. Not much happens but an awful lot is said through the wonderfully witty prose of the author. The writing/story is a strange hybrid of Great Expectations and Gosford Park with a dusting of Anne of Green Gables—bits of the main heroine’s imaginative fancies worked into and between non-sequential scenes and expansive, illuminating dialogue, much by the ridiculous titular character. It’s the kind of story in which I wasn’t sure I actually liked it until the very end. The author’s almost obnoxious obsession with sex started out funny but became quickly tiresome, however the quality of the writing pulled me through the sagging middle act. A story as sad as it is funny, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie is a must read for anyone who enjoys a well-woven and witty tale.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Eric D. Suben
  • 27/06/2018

You’ve seen the play/movie...now this

A jaw dropping masterpiece, so much more layered, nuanced, and interesting (and hilarious) than the play/movie. A genius performance by Margolyes is the icing!

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • robin shaw
  • 05/05/2018

Miriam and Muriel in their prime!

Miriam brilliantly conveys the sinister sincerity of Miss Brodie. Her portrayal of the lives of the Brodie girls has a rare theatrical resonance.

  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    3 out of 5 stars
  • W Perry Hall
  • 06/03/2017

it's only possible to betray where loyalty is due'


Of Mussolini,
Don't Preach,
To the Teenies
Where You Teach

"it's only possible to betray where loyalty is due"

Sandy, now Sister Helena of the Transfiguration, is the omniscient narrator of the story looking back at her time in the 1930s at a Catholic grade school in Edinburgh, Scotland, time spent as part of the set of six girls who their teacher Miss Brodie called her "creme de la creme." Ms. Sparks used a number of flash-forwards to most effectively and methodically convey the ultimate betrayal of Miss Jean Brodie by one of set, which ruined Miss Brodie's teaching career. Miss Brodie died the year after the end of World War I without knowing which girl did the deed, though the mystery obviously bothered her during the decade prior to her death.

Ms. Brodie was smart, snod, unconventional and a bit daft, holding potentially harmful sway over the set who she taught off and on from their tenth year to their sixteenth, providing lessons on her love life, her travels particularly to Italy, a great deal of art history and on fascism and her smite with Benito Mussolini. Ironically, it wasn't her questionable methods outside the classroom (such as providing a place for one girl then 13 to pose nude for a male artist to paint her, then suggesting the same girl at 16 have an affair with a married teacher as a sort of surrogate to requite Ms. Brodie's love for him) that led to Ms. Brodie's fall, but the pro-fascist views she espoused.

While I found the book had a certain charm and I understand the reasons for its popularity upon its publication in 1961, I think this is among those books whose literary force has been somewhat dulled by the novel being dated.

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