Iris Murdoch Related Items 1977-1995

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

Items relating to Iris Murdoch from 1977 to 1995. Includes:

  • Uncorrected Proof Copy of Iris Murdoch's 'The Book and the Brotherhood'
  • Booklet: Theology in Scotland Occasional Paper No 1 Apr 1995- 'Iris Murdoch's Giffords' A Study of the 1982 Gifford Lectured Edited by RA Gillies
  • Original copy of 'The Cherwell' magazine Vol LVI No 6 dated Week Ending 03 Jun 1939, including Iris Murdoch's piece 'The Irish- Are they Human?'
  • 6 original letters from Iris Murdoch to a bookseller regarding selling first editions from the 1980s, with a letter from The Paris Review to Iris Murdoch regarding an interview dated 14 Mar 1977 and a photograph of a book shop.

Administrative / Biographical History

Iris Murdoch was born in Dublin, Ireland on 15 Jul 1919. When she was very young Iris and her parents moved to London, England, and Iris studied at Froebel and Badminton Schools. She followed this with studies in classics, ancient history and philosophy at Oxford, and further study at Cambridge. During the war years Iris worked for the Treasury in London, and then joined the UNRRA providing relief in formerly occupied countries in Europe. In 1948 she became a fellow of St Anne's College, Oxford, where she taught and researched philosophy.

Iris Murdoch wrote a number of tracts on philosophy, however it is for her novels that she is best known. She wrote 26 novels in total, her first being 'Under the Net' published in 1954. Other notable works include 'The Bell' and 'The Sea, the Sea', for which she won the Booker Prize. Her last novel, 'Jackson's Dilemma', was published in 1995.

In her youth Iris Murdoch had relationships with a number of individuals. She met author and scholar John Bayley while at Oxford, and they married in 1956. She wrote to a great number of people and maintained friendships in this way.

Later in life Iris Murdoch was diagnosed with Alzheimers disease, the first effects of which she had attributed to writer's block. She died in 1999.

Conditions Governing Access

Available to view by appointment. Please email Kingston University Archives and Special Collections to make an appointment.

Acquisition Information

Kindly presented by Miles Leeson