Knowing next to nothing about Muriel Spark’s life, I decided to see what I could come up with on Ancestry.com. The service is not cheap but I think they still have free temporary memberships so you can play around if you want. I use it for work as well as personal research, so the expense makes sense for me. Anyhoo, there isn’t much that comes up on Ancestry.com for Spark. I did, however, find an arrival record for March 20, 1944. Even more curious, I went to Wikipedia and came across this:
“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 to violent 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.”
So the arrival record, appears to document Spark’s return to England after she left her husband and son in Rhodesia. You might want to read her entry in Wikipedia if you don’t know her story. Frankly, after reading it, I think a little less of her as a human. Not knowing the whole story, it seems like she abandoned her son and then disowned him later in life and made sure none of her estate went to him upon her death.
|On March 20, 1944 the Empress of Scotland of the Canadian Pacific Line
arrived in Liverpool from Durban (Cape Town), South Africa.
|This is a photo of the page on which the 26 year old Muriel Spark is listed.|
|Three lines from the top you can see Spark’s details. The c/o address in Edinburgh must be her father.|