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Author photo. © Steve Pyke 1990 (use of image requires permission from <a href="http://www.pyke-eye.com/">Steve Pyke</a>)

© Steve Pyke 1990 (use of image requires permission from Steve Pyke)

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Iris Murdoch was one of the twentieth century's most prominent novelists, winner of the Booker Prize for The Sea. She died in 1999. (Publisher Provided) Iris Murdoch was born in Dublin, Ireland on July 15, 1919. She was educated at Badminton School in Bristol and Oxford University, where she read classics, ancient history, and philosophy. After several government jobs, she returned to academic life, studying philosophy at Newnham College, Cambridge. In 1948, she became a fellow and tutor at St. Anne's College, Oxford. She also taught at the Royal College of Art in London. A professional philosopher, she began writing novels as a hobby, but quickly established herself as a genuine literary talent. She wrote over 25 novels during her lifetime including Under the Net, A Severed Head, The Unicorn, and Of the Nice and the Good. She won several awards including the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for The Black Prince in 1973 and the Booker Prize for The Sea, The Sea in 1978. She died on February 8, 1999 at the age of 79. (Bowker Author Biography) — biography from The Sea, the Sea… (more)
The Sea, the Sea 3,413 copies, 90 reviews
Under the Net 2,036 copies, 47 reviews
The Bell 1,944 copies, 48 reviews
A Severed Head 1,479 copies, 47 reviews
The Black Prince 1,433 copies, 40 reviews
The Unicorn 902 copies, 16 reviews
The Nice and the Good 872 copies, 18 reviews
A Fairly Honourable Defeat 794 copies, 18 reviews
The Green Knight 767 copies, 12 reviews
The Book and the Brotherhood 699 copies, 13 reviews
The Good Apprentice 686 copies, 14 reviews
The Sandcastle 674 copies, 10 reviews
The Philosopher's Pupil 620 copies, 13 reviews
The Italian Girl 618 copies, 20 reviews
A Word Child 605 copies, 10 reviews
Nuns and Soldiers 509 copies, 5 reviews
The Red and the Green 508 copies, 9 reviews
Bruno's Dream 505 copies, 9 reviews
The Sovereignty of Good 498 copies, 9 reviews
The Flight from the Enchanter 487 copies, 13 reviews
The Message to the Planet 466 copies, 7 reviews
An Unofficial Rose 466 copies, 8 reviews
Henry and Cato 456 copies, 6 reviews
An Accidental Man 451 copies, 8 reviews
Jackson's Dilemma 451 copies, 11 reviews
The Time of the Angels 361 copies, 9 reviews
Sartre: Romantic Rationalist 229 copies, 3 reviews
Something Special: A Story 152 copies, 4 reviews
Acastos: Two Platonic Dialogues 134 copies, 4 reviews
O Sino 4 copies
Çan 1 copy

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Iris Murdoch was born in Dublin, Ireland, the only child of an Anglo-Irish family. When she was a baby, the family moved to London, where her father worked as a civil servant. She attended the Badminton School as a boarder from 1932 to 1938. In 1938, she enrolled at Oxford University, where she read Classics. She graduated with a First Class Honors degree in 1942 and got a job with the Treasury. In 1944, she joined the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA), working in Brussels, Innsbruck, and Graz for two years. She then returned to her studies and became a postgraduate at Cambridge University. In 1948, she became a fellow of St Anne's College, Oxford, where she taught philosophy until 1963. In 1956, she married John Bayley, a literary critic, novelist, and English professor at Oxford. She published her debut novel, Under the Net, in 1954 and went on to produce 25 more novels and additional acclaimed works of philosophy, poetry and drama. She was elected a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1982, and named a Dame Commander of Order of the British Empire in 1987. She was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in 1997 and died two years later.
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