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Iris Murdoch

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Iris Murdoch

Iris Murdoch was born in Dublin in 1919 of Anglo-Irish parents. She went to Badminton School, Bristol, and read classics at Somerville College, Oxford. During the war she was an Assistant Principal at the Treasury, and then worked with UNRRA in London, Belgium and Austria. She held a studentship in philosophy at Newnham College, Cambridge, and then in 1948 she returned to Oxford, where she became a Fellow of St Anne's College. Until her death in February 1999, she lived with her husband, the teacher and critic John Bayley, in Oxford. Awarded the CBE in 1976, Iris Murdoch was made a DBE in the 1987 New Year's Honours List. In the 1997 PEN Awards she received the Gold Pen for Distinguished Service to Literature.

Iris Murdoch made her writing debut in 1954 with Under the Net, and went on to write twenty-six novels, including the Booker prize-winning The Sea, The Sea (1978). Other literary awards include the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for The Black Prince (1973) and the Whitbread Prize (now the Costa Book Award) for The Sacred and Profane Love Machine (1974). Her works of philosophy include Sartre: Romantic Rationalist, Metaphysics as a Guide to Morals (1992) and Existentialists and Mystics (1997) She wrote several plays including The Italian Girl (with James Saunders) and The Black Prince, adapted from her novels of the same name.

Books by Iris Murdoch

Books: 31
The Sea, The Sea

A designer Vintage Classics edition, published in association with the Victoria and ...

Under The Net

The debut novel from one of the most remarkable writers of the 20th century.


Iris Murdoch's unique study of one of the 20th century's foremost thinkers

The Black Prince

'It is witty and wise and provocative...brilliantly good' Evening Standard

The Bell

Iris Murdoch's funny and sad novel is about religion, the fight between good and ...

The Book And The Brotherhood

A highlight amongst Murdoch's novels, shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize.

Metaphysics As A Guide To Morals

'Iris Murdoch has written a book which concerns all of us as human beings. There ...

An Accidental Man

'Of the novelists who have made their bow since the war she seems to me to be the ...

The Sacred And Profane Love Machine

'Iris Murdoch is incapable of writing without fascinating and beautiful colour' The ...

The Sandcastle

A married schoolmaster and young painter must choose between love, duty and ambition ...

Books: 31