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Murdoch, Iris (1919-1999): Rare Editions of Novels and Other Works

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 2108 KUAS25
Held at: Kingston University
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Full title: Murdoch, Iris (1919-1999): Rare Editions of Novels and Other Works
Date(s): 1954-1993
Level of description: Fonds
Extent: 13 volumes
Name of creator(s): Murdoch | Dame | Jean Iris | 1919-1999 | author
Detailed catalogue: Click here to view repository detailed catalogue


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 Frobel 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, including Elias Canetti. 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.


Scope and content/abstract:

First editions of some of Iris Murdoch's novels, and other rare texts- 13 volumes in total. Consists of:
KUAS25/1 Limited edition playscript for The One Alone (Colophon Press, 1995)
KUAS25/2 Copy of A Year of Birds poems by Iris Murdoch, engravings by Reynolds Stone (Compton Press, 1978)
KUAS25/3 Unrevised proof copy of The Time of the Angels (Viking Press, 1966)
KUAS25/4 Copies of Sartre; Romantic Rationalist by Iris Murdoch (Bowes and Borwes, 1953)
KUAS25/5 Playscript of The Italian Girl: A Play,/i> by Iris Murdoch and James Saunders (Samuel French, 1968)
KUAS25/6 Unrevised proof copy of The Italin Girl the novel (Viking Press, 1964)
KUAS25/7 Reprint of Existentialists and Mystics by Iris Murdoch (Delos Press, 1993)
KUAS25/8 Programme for the play The Black Prince adapted by Iris Murdoch's from her novel The Black Prince (1973)
KUAS25/9 First edition of Iris Murdoch's first novel, Under the Net (London, Chatto and Windus 1954). With original dust jacket.
KUAS25/10 First edition of Iris Murdoch's novel, The Sandcastle (London, Chatto and Windus 1957). With original dust jacket.
KUAS25/11 First edition of Iris Murdoch's novel, The Good Apprentice (London, Chatto and Windus - The Hogarth Press 1985). With original dust jacket.
KUAS25/12 First edition of Iris Murdoch's novel, The Book and the Brotherhood, (London, Chatto and Windus 1987). With original dust jacket.
KUAS25/13 First edition of Iris Murdoch's novel, The Message to the Planet, (London, Chatto and Windus 1989). With original dust jacket.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

Original Order

Conditions governing access:

Accessible to researchers in the Kingston University Archives and Special Collections search room by appointment.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copying will depend on the physical condition of the item in question. Any copying will be done within the bounds of copyright law. Any copies will be made by a member of staff, and there will be a charge for this.

Finding aids:

Catalogued at

Archival Information

Archival history:

Texts gathered together and presented by Cheryl Bove.

Immediate source of acquisition:

Presented by Cheryl Bove

Allied Materials

Related material:

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:

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