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Christopher Tayler: Muriel Spark’s Essays, 25 September 2014

The Golden Fleece: Essays 
by Muriel Spark, edited by Penelope Jardine.
Carcanet, 226 pp., £16.99, March 2014, 978 1 84777 251 0
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... Fleece, a selection of essays, reviews and reminiscences put together on her instructions by Penelope Jardine, her assistant, friend, housemate and literary executor. The publishing history alone tells a story of unblushing professionalism: the earliest piece was written in 1948 for Argentor, the house journal of the National ...

Mistress of Disappearances

Frank Kermode: Eluding Muriel Spark, 10 September 2009

Muriel Spark: The Biography 
by Martin Stannard.
Weidenfeld, 627 pp., £25, July 2009, 978 0 297 81592 1
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... Church doesn’t stick to politics and keep its nose out of morals.’ As her relationship with Penelope Jardine matured she spent less time in Rome and more at Jardine’s house in Tuscany. She died in a Florentine hospital in April 2006, aged 88. Stannard follows the course of her extraordinary career with ...

Unusual Endowments

Patrick Collinson, 30 March 2000

Philip Sidney: A Double Life 
by Alan Stewart.
Chatto, 400 pp., £20, February 2000, 0 7011 6859 5
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... altered. If the Anjou match helped to provoke The Arcadia, the disappointment of the marriage of Penelope Devereux to Lord Rich was what Stewart calls the ‘necessary inspiration’ for the love-lorn sonnets, Astrophil and Stella. In 1583, Sidney married Walsingham’s daughter (who as a young widow would later marry the Earl of Essex). He continued to be ...

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