Born in India in 1925, John Bayley was educated at Eton and Oxford, an he served during World War II in the Grenadier Guards. He became a fellow of New College in 1955, where he taught English. In 1956, he married the novelist Iris Murdoch who was then teaching philosophy at St. Anne's College. In 1973, he was appointed Warton Professor at St. Catherine's College.
Bayley has written numerous works of criticism ... . He has also published several studies about Thomas Hardy, Jane Austen, and Henry James, as well as a history of the short story. [from Iris and Her Friends: a Memoir of Memory and Desire, 2000] Bayley also writes novels, and wrote three memoirs of Iris Murdoch (his wife), and their struggle with her Alzheimer's and her death.