SHE became one of Scotland’s best known writers, famed for her much-loved literary offering, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie.

Now every public library in Scotland is to receive a complete collection of Muriel Spark novels, to mark the centenary of the late author's birth.

From the first publication of her book, The Comforters in 1957, she lit up Scottish literature, leading on to the creation of her national treasure, school-ma’am Miss Brodie in 1961, the book which made her name.

Funded by the Scottish Government, and the People’s Postcode Lottery - and delivered in partnership with the Scottish Book Trust – more than 11,000 of Spark’s novels now will be delivered to libraries throughout the country.

The joint investment of £90,000 is part of the Muriel Spark 100 programme of events, celebrating the centenary.

Making the announcement on a visit to Loanhead public library in Midlothian, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “Muriel Spark is one of Scotland’s greatest authors and it is fitting that we celebrate the centenary of her birth with this donation to libraries.

“I’ve been an avid reader of her books since I was young and I’m very pleased that many more people will now be able to enjoy her work.

“For me, reading is one of life’s greatest pleasures and I hope Book Week helps to encourage people across the country to develop a love of books too.”

Born Muriel Camberg in Edinburgh in 1918, she attended James Gillespie’s School for Girls – undoubtedly offering inspiration for her later work.

In 1938, she married Sydney Spark and had a son Samuel, known as Robin, and lived for a while in Central Africa, but her marriage ended in divorce.

In a career spanning 50 years, she published more than 20 books and received global critical acclaim, passing away in Tuscany in 2006, where she had lived for 30 years.

She is best remembered for the character of Miss Brodie, brought to life on film by Dame Maggie Smith in 1969, a role that earned her the Academy Award for best actress the following year. 

Marc Lambert, CEO of Scottish Book Trust said: “Scottish Book Trust is delighted to help cement the legacy of the Muriel Spark 100 Programme, in partnership with Creative Scotland, the Scottish Library and Information Council and Birlinn/Polygon publishing. With support from the Postcode Culture Trust and the Scottish Government, we have been able to supply a set of Muriel Spark Centenary Editions to every library in Scotland.

“There is no better or more fitting way to celebrate the outstanding achievement of this giant of 20th Century literature - a singular person, and an iconic, iconoclastic and brilliantly rebellious female genius.

“This gift - made most appropriately during a Book Week Scotland that is dedicated this year to celebrating rebels - will enable generations of Scots to access, enjoy and celebrate her stories and it will ensure that the very Scottish genius of Muriel Spark finds its proper place in the hearts of readers across the country.”

And Mairi Kidd, Head of Literature at Creative Scotland said: “Creative Scotland is delighted to support both the Muriel Spark 100 programme, in partnership with the National Library of Scotland, and Book Week Scotland through our funding of the Scottish Book Trust.

“It’s great to see this come together in such an inspiring way, enabling people across all parts of Scotland to access the brilliant work of Muriel Spark, a critical part of Scotland’s literary landscape, and to be able to do this in local libraries which themselves are such a critical part of our society.”