MURIEL SPARK, was born in Edinburgh in 1918. She was born Muriel Sarah Camberg, the daughter of Sarah Elizabeth Maud and Bernard Camberg, an engineer. Her father was Jewish and her mother had been raised a Presbyterian, as was Spark. She was educated at James Gillespie's High School for Girls (1923 – 1935). The family lived in the Bruntsfield area of Edinburgh. In 1934–35 she took acourse in "Commercial correspondence and précis writing" at Heriot-Watt College. She taught English for a brief time and then worked as a secretary in a department store.
On 3 September 1937 she married Sidney Oswald Spark, and soon followed him to Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). Their son Robin was born in July 1938. Within months she discovered that her husband was manic depressive and prone toviolent outbursts. In 1940 Muriel left Sidney and Robin. She returned to the United Kingdom in early 1944, taking residence at the Helena Club in London; years later the club would be her inspiration for the fictional May of Teck Club in The Girls of Slender Means. She worked in Intelligence for the remainder of World War II. She provided money at regular intervals to support her son as he toiledunsuccessfully over the years. Spark maintained it was her intention for her family to set up home in England, but Robin returned to Britain with his father later to be brought up by his maternal grandparents in Scotland A poet and novelist, she wrote short stories, radio plays, children’s books, reviews and essays, as well as critical biographies of nineteenth century literary. Her early career wasone of grinding poverty and hard work, writing poems and essays for literary magazines in London. Eventually she was forced to leave, choosing to be fired and therefore paid as opposed to resigning without payment. In all this time she had a small son to support with the help of her parents in Scotland.
Best known for her many concise and witty novels. The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Memento Mori,The Girls of Slender Means, Symposium, Loitering with Intent and A Far Cry from Kensington are some among many other successful titles.
ROALD DHAL- Was born in Wales in 1916, to Norwegian parents, Harald Dahl (from Sarpsborg, Østfold) and Sofie Magdalene Dahl "née" Hesselberg. Dahl's family moved from Norway and settled in Cardiff in the 1880s. Roald was named after the polarexplorer Roald Amundsen, a national hero in Norway at the time. He spoke Norwegian at home with his parents and sisters. Dahl and his sisters were christened at the Norwegian Church, Cardiff, where their parents worshipped.
When Roald was three, his seven-year-old sister, died. About a month later, his father died. Dahl's mother decided not to return to, but to remain in the UK since it had been herhusband's wish to have their children educated in British schools.Dahl first attended The Cathedral School, Llandaff. At the age of eight, he and four of his friends were caned by the headmaster after putting a dead mouse in a jar of sweets at the local sweet shop, which was owned by a 'mean and loathsome' old woman called Mrs. Pratchett (wife of blacksmith David Pratchett). This was known amongstthe five boys as the 'Great Mouse Plot of 1923'. This was Roalds own idea.His parents had wanted Roald to be educated at an English public school and at the time, due to a then regular boat link across the Bristol Channel, this proved to be the nearest.
Dahl's first published work, inspired by a meeting with C. S. Forester, was "Shot Down Over Libya". Its title was inspired by a highly inaccurateand sensationalized article about the crash that blinded him, which claimed he had been shot down instead of simply having to land due to low fuel.
His first children's book was "The Gremlins". The book was commissioned by Walt Disney for a film that was never made, and published in 1943. Dahl went on to create some of the best-loved children's stories of the 20th century, such as "Charlie and...