Dame Muriel Spark was born in Edinburgh in 1918 and educated at the city’s James Gillespie’s High School for Girls, where she studied English, French, Chemistry, Greek, Physics, Latin and Logic. She converted to Catholicism in 1954, and the Catholic writers, Graham Greene and Evelyn Waugh, gave her support and encouragement as she pursued her literary career. She began by writing biographies of Emily Brontë, Mary Shelley and John Masefield, but it was not until 1957 when she published The Comforters, her first novel, that she achieved recognition.
The Three Kings
Where do we go from here?
We left our country,
Followed a star.
We were questioned.
We reached our objective.
We enjoyed the trip.
Then we came back by a different way.
And now the people are demonstrating in the streets.
They say they don’t need the Kings any more.
They did very well in our absence.
Everything was all right without us.
They are out on the streets with placards:
Wise Men? What’s wise about them?
There are plenty of Wise Men,
And who needs them? — and so on.
Perhaps they will be better off without us,
But where do we go from here?
Dame Muriel Spark (February 1918 – April 2006)