The only play by famed Scottish author Muriel Spark takes on the dilemmas of two intellectually ambitious women in 1960s England
In a home overlooking London’s Regent’s Canal in the 1960s, two scholars debate the choices they have made with their lives. Catherine Delfont was one of the most promising minds of her generation, but after earning her PhD she gave up her research to marry a well-regarded economist and raise a family. Her cousin Leonora stayed in academia and became a successful classicist, able to observe both the breadth of history and the lives of others with brilliant, cool detachment. Together, they face the sacrifices they have made as women and intellectuals. First performed in London in 1962 and later in Scandinavia, where it was produced by Ingmar Bergman, Doctors of Philosophy is a fascinating artifact of early second-wave feminism. This ebook features an illustrated biography of Muriel Spark including rare photos and never-before-seen documents from the author’s archive at the National Library of Scotland.
“Spark’s powers of invention are apparently inexhaustible.” —Commonweal“[Spark is] one of this century’s finest creators of comic-metaphysical entertainment.” —The New York Times Muriel Spark (1918–2006) was a prolific Scottish novelist, short story writer, and poet whose darkly comedic voice made her one of the most distinctive writers of the twentieth century. Spark grew up in Edinburgh and worked as a department store secretary, writer for trade magazines, and literary editor before publishing her first novel in 1957. The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1961), considered her masterpiece, was made into a stage play, a TV series, and a film. Spark became a Dame of the British Empire in 1993.