London: Peter Owen Limited, 1960. Octavo, original orange cloth lettered in gilt, original clipped dust jacket. Jacket spine toned, lightest edgewear, one small spot to base of spine.
First edition, second printing, of this study of Emily Brontë, first published in 1953. The book is divided into two sections: a biographical essay by Muriel Spark, written at the beginning of her own literary career, and a critical essay by Derek Stanford. The interest of the book lies primarily in Spark's perceptive revision of the Brontë family legend: “Emily's incapacity to cope with the world had always evoked her sister's sympathy. In the last phase of Emily's life, Charlotte, who had hitherto expressed her fears for Emily, now expresses something very close to a fear of Emily. . . . an objective and terrified fascination can be detected." The book was reissued in 1960 to capitalize on Spark's growing literary reputation: the jacket copy declares that Spark is “now regarded as one of the most outstanding novelists of our time," one year before The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie would secure her an international readership. A near-fine copy, signed by Muriel Spark on the title page.