Sixteen Books Previously Owned by Iris Murdoch

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

Sixteen books formerly owned by Iris Murdoch- they either have dedications to her, or notes of her name written in the front. One book is partially annotated.

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 be viewed by appointment. Please email Kingston University Archives and Special Collections to make an appointment.

Acquisition Information

Purchased for the Archives by the Iris Murdoch Archives Project at Kingston University

Other Finding Aids

Detailed catalogue entries for the texts can be found on Kingston University's library catalogue

Related Material

Other books owned by Iris Murdoch can be found in her Oxford Library (Reference IML) and London library (reference MLL) both held at Kingston University Archives and Special Collections

Subjects