1961. While on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, English teacher Barbara Vaughan becomes intent on joining her archaeologist fiance Harry, who is working on the site of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Ignoring warnings not to cross the Mandelbaum Gate - the boundary between Israel and Jordan and the division between an old land and a new land - she enlists the assistance of British diplomat Freddy Hamilton and Arab contacts. An exotic and extravagant tale of abduction, espionage and pilgrimage.
This is one of the 22 novels written by Muriel Spark in her lifetime. All are being published by Polygon in hardback Centenary Editions between November 2017 and September 2018.
'As I entered my teens, I developed a taste for more arch, snappy writing and discovered the joys of Muriel Spark. Wisdom and wit — ideal for an impressionable youth finding his way in the world'-- Julian Clary * Daily Mail *
'I was marvelling at several things about the book in my hands, one of them being its contemporary relevance, and another that this novel arose from that visit to the Eichmann trial that Spark made for a few days in 1961; she’d gone there as a journalist, to report for the Observer. But although she heavily annotated the transcripts of what she heard while there, she doesn’t seem to have submitted any reports to the paper – instead, we have this never not relevant novel'-- Ali Smith * The Guardi
- Winner of James Tait Black Memorial Prize 1965 (UK)
Dimensions: 205mm x 140mm x 30mm