Iris Murdoch eBooks
British writer and philosopher Iris Murdoch was born in 1919 in Dublin to an English family. Her more than forty books frequently combined psychology, philosophy, and ethics.
Murdoch was educated in England and studied classics at Oxford. In the early 1940s she worked for the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration in Europe, working at a refugee camp in Austria. She returned to England in 1946, turning her attention to philosophy, which she studied as a postgraduate at Cambridge University.
Her philosophical education is often demonstrated in her novels, and the influence of Sartre and Wittgenstein are especially apparent. Murdoch’s fiction is often existential, and also reflects her belief in socialism.
Murdoch’s first novel, Under the Net, was published in 1954. Its continued importance is witnessed by its naming as one of the Modern Library’s best British Novels of the 20th Century. A favourite of critics and readers, she received the Booker Prize for her 1978 novel, The Sea, The Sea. In 1987, she was given the title of Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire for her work as a writer.
Murdoch continued writing until 1995, by which point she was suffering from Alzheimer’s Syndrome. She had initially thought the symptoms of the disease were simply writer’s block. That year’s publication of Jackson’s Dilemma, was her final book before her death in 1999. That year, her husband’s memoir of her life was published. It was adapted for film in 2001.