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Books by Iris Murdoch

Dame Iris Murdoch (1919-1999) was one of the most acclaimed British writers of the twentieth century. Very prolific, she wrote twenty-six novels, four books of philosophy, five plays, a volume of poetry, a libretto, and numerous essays before developing Alzheimer's disease in the mid-1990s. Her novels have won many prizes: the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for The Black Prince, the Whitbread Literary Award for Fiction for The Sacred and Profane Love Machine, and the Booker Prize for The Sea, The Sea. She herself was also the recipient of many esteemed awards: Dame of the Order of the British Empire, the Royal Society of Literature's Companion of Literature award, and the National Arts Club's (New York) Medal of Honor for Literature. In 2008, she was named one of the London Times' 50 greatest British writers since 1945.

She was born in Dublin, Ireland, on July 15, 1919, the only child of Anglo-Irish parents. Her father was a bookish civil servant who had served as a cavalry officer during World War I; her mother had trained as an opera singer before marrying. The love of both literature and music instilled in her by her parents proved to be powerful formative influences, and she reportedly began writing at the age of nine. The family moved to London in Iris's childhood and she grew up in the western suburbs of Hammersmith and Chiswich. The 1940s saw Iris receive a first-class degree in classics from Oxford, briefly become a member of the Communist Party (from which she resigned in disappointment), work in Belgian and Austrian refugee camps for the United Nations Rehabilitation and Relief Program, and befriend Jean-Paul Sartre, on whom she wrote what was to be her first published work, a critical study entitled Sartre: Romantic Rationalist (1953). In 1947 she took up a postgraduate studentship at Cambridge, studying philosophy under none other than Ludwig Wittgenstein. The fruits of these philosophical encounters went on to form an important part of her fertile talent as a novelist.

With three previous novels unpublished, Murdoch made her fiction-writing debut in 1954. Under the Net is a picaresque existentialist adventure set in London and Paris's Left Bank that displays many of the traits for which her later work is so admired: a fast-paced plot, finely wrought settings, imaginatively developed characters, and a strong philosophical concern with moral issues and ethical crises. Surpassing the somewhat derivative existentialist strictures of this nevertheless stunning debut, Murdoch published almost a novel per year throughout the 1950s, '60s, and '70s and continued at a slightly less feverish pace throughout the '80s and early '90s. With each book, she displayed her unique talent for combining a lively, comic touch in characterization and plot with a serious concern for such profound themes as the nature of goodness and human freedom. A novelist and philosopher rolled into one, Iris Murdoch declared in her famous essay "Against Dryness" (1961) that literature "has taken over some of the tasks formerly performed by philosophy." However, she never allowed her novels or her characters to become abstract stand-ins for philosophical viewpoints, asserting in the same essay that the novel should be "a fit house for free characters to live in."

Producing romances such as The Sandcastle (1957), religious fables such as The Bell (1958), and fantasies such as The Unicorn (1963), she ranged widely across genres and settings. A Severed Head (1961)--later made into both a play and a film--takes on Jungian archetypes and Freud's theories about masculine sexuality, while in The Red and the Green (1965), Murdoch, in her only foray into historical fiction, delved into the 1916 Easter Rising in Dublin. Her calling cards became the intoxicating combination of love, marriage, adultery, sexuality, and religion, as well as the inventive use of gothic elements. In The Time of Angels (1966), for instance, the protagonist is an atheist Anglican priest in an impoverished inner-city parish who engages in black magic--and through whom Murdoch explored the central question of the role of morality after the death of God.

From the 1970s into the 1990s, international acclaim and recognition coincided with the publication of some of her finest work, including an experimental novel of love gone mad, The Black Prince (1973), her popular and highly esteemed The Sea, The Sea (1978), and a Platonic investigation of morality, Metaphysics as a Guide to Morals (1992), one of her most acclaimed nonfiction writings. Her last novel, Jackson's Dilemma (1995), was published just as Alzheimer's began to take its toll. She died in Oxford on February 8, 1999, survived by her husband, John Bayley.

The Sea, The Sea By Iris Murdoch
The Sea, The Seaby Iris Murdoch
Like New
15,49 $
inc. GST
The Bell By Iris Murdoch
The Bellby Iris Murdoch
Like New
13,99 $
inc. GST
The Black Prince By Iris Murdoch
The Black Princeby Iris Murdoch
Very Good
16,99 $
inc. GST
A Fairly Honourable Defeat By Iris Murdoch
A Fairly Honourable Defeatby Iris Murdoch
Good
16,99 $
inc. GST
The Sovereignty of Good By Iris Murdoch
The Sovereignty of Goodby Iris Murdoch
New
33,09 $
inc. GST
A Severed Head By Iris Murdoch
A Severed Headby Iris Murdoch
Very Good
19,99 $
inc. GST
Nuns and Soldiers By Iris Murdoch
Nuns and Soldiersby Iris Murdoch
Very Good
18,99 $
inc. GST
Acastos By Iris Murdoch
Acastosby Iris Murdoch
Very Good
11,99 $
inc. GST
Under The Net By Iris Murdoch
Under The Netby Iris Murdoch
Very Good
13,69 $
inc. GST
The Unicorn By Iris Murdoch
The Unicornby Iris Murdoch
Very Good
16,49 $
inc. GST
The Sea, The Sea By Iris Murdoch
The Sea, The Seaby Iris Murdoch
Very Good
21,49 $
inc. GST
The Book And The Brotherhood By Iris Murdoch
The Book And The Brotherhoodby Iris Murdoch
Very Good
18,99 $
inc. GST
The Nice And The Good By Iris Murdoch
The Nice And The Goodby Iris Murdoch
Very Good
17,49 $
inc. GST
Metaphysics as a Guide to Morals By Iris Murdoch
Metaphysics as a Guide to Moralsby Iris Murdoch
Very Good
23,49 $
inc. GST
Living on Paper By Iris Murdoch
Living on Paperby Iris Murdoch
Like New
28,49 $
inc. GST
A Word Child By Iris Murdoch
A Word Childby Iris Murdoch
Very Good
13,99 $
inc. GST
The Philosopher's Pupil By Iris Murdoch
The Philosopher's Pupilby Iris Murdoch
Very Good
17,49 $
inc. GST
The Green Knight By Iris Murdoch
The Green Knightby Iris Murdoch
Very Good
21,99 $
inc. GST
The Time Of The Angels By Iris Murdoch
The Time Of The Angelsby Iris Murdoch
Very Good
18,49 $
inc. GST
Bruno's Dream By Iris Murdoch
Bruno's Dreamby Iris Murdoch
Very Good
18,99 $
inc. GST
The Sandcastle By Iris Murdoch
The Sandcastleby Iris Murdoch
Very Good
20,99 $
inc. GST
An Unofficial Rose By Iris Murdoch
An Unofficial Roseby Iris Murdoch
New
25,49 $
inc. GST
The Sovereignty of Good By Iris Murdoch
The Sovereignty of Goodby Iris Murdoch
New
57,19 $
inc. GST
The Sandcastle By Iris Murdoch
The Sandcastleby Iris Murdoch
Very Good
21,49 $
inc. GST
The Flight From the Enchanter By Iris Murdoch
The Flight From the Enchanterby Iris Murdoch
Very Good
14,99 $
inc. GST
The Red and the Green By Iris Murdoch
The Red and the Greenby Iris Murdoch
Very Good
18,99 $
inc. GST
The Black Prince By Iris Murdoch
The Black Princeby Iris Murdoch
Very Good
23,99 $
inc. GST
A Fairly Honourable Defeat By Iris Murdoch
A Fairly Honourable Defeatby Iris Murdoch
Very Good
15,49 $
inc. GST
The Good Apprentice By Iris Murdoch
The Good Apprenticeby Iris Murdoch
Very Good
25,49 $
inc. GST
Nuns and Soldiers By Iris Murdoch
Nuns And Soldiersby Iris Murdoch
Very Good
15,49 $
inc. GST
Under The Net By Iris Murdoch
Under The Netby Iris Murdoch
Very Good
19,99 $
inc. GST
The Message To The Planet By Iris Murdoch
The Message To The Planetby Iris Murdoch
Like New
22,99 $
inc. GST
The Sacred And Profane Love Machine By Iris Murdoch
The Sacred And Profane Love Machineby Iris Murdoch
Like New
24,49 $
inc. GST
Henry And Cato By Iris Murdoch
Henry And Catoby Iris Murdoch
Very Good
19,49 $
inc. GST
An Accidental Man By Iris Murdoch
An Accidental Manby Iris Murdoch
Very Good
13,69 $
inc. GST
Under the Net By Iris Murdoch
Under the Netby Iris Murdoch
Very Good
16,99 $
inc. GST
The Green Knight By Iris Murdoch
The Green Knightby Iris Murdoch
Good
53,99 $
inc. GST
Metaphysics as a Guide to Morals By Iris Murdoch
Metaphysics as a Guide to Moralsby Iris Murdoch
Very Good
31,99 $
inc. GST
The Sea, the Sea By Iris Murdoch
The Sea, the Seaby Iris Murdoch
Very Good
15,99 $
inc. GST
The Green Knight By Iris Murdoch
The Green Knightby Iris Murdoch
Very Good
24,49 $
inc. GST
Something Special By Iris Murdoch
Something Specialby Iris Murdoch
Very Good
12,99 $
inc. GST
Living on Paper By Iris Murdoch
Living on Paperby Iris Murdoch
Like New
36,99 $
inc. GST
Sea, the Sea By Iris Murdoch
Sea, the Seaby Iris Murdoch
Well Read
46,99 $
inc. GST
Under the Net By Iris Murdoch
Under the Netby Iris Murdoch
Very Good
11,99 $
inc. GST
Jackson's Dilemma By Iris Murdoch
Jackson's Dilemmaby Iris Murdoch
Very Good
11,99 $
inc. GST
Black Prince By Iris Murdoch
Black Princeby Iris Murdoch
Good
15,49 $
inc. GST
The Sacred and Profane Love Machine By Iris Murdoch
The Sacred and Profane Love Machineby Iris Murdoch
Very Good
14,99 $
inc. GST