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Murdoch, Iris (1919-1999): Items relating to Iris Murdoch 1939-1995

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 2108 KUAS211
Held at: Kingston University
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Full title: Murdoch, Iris (1919-1999): Items relating to Iris Murdoch 1939-1995
Date(s): 1939-1995
Level of description: Fonds
Extent: 11 items
Name of creator(s): Murdoch | Dame | Jean Iris | 1919-1999 | author


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:

Items relating to Iris Murdoch from 1939 to 1995. Includes:
1) Uncorrected Proof Copy of Iris Murdoch's 'The Book and the Brotherhood'
2) Booklet: Theology in Scotland Occasional Paper No 1 Apr 1995- 'Iris Murdoch's Giffords' A Study of the 1982 Gifford Lectures Edited by RA Gillies
3) Original copy of 'The Cherwell' magazine Vol LVI No 6 dated Week Ending 03 Jun 1939, including Iris Murdoch's piece 'The Irish- Are they Human?'
4) 6 original letters from Iris Murdoch to a bookseller regarding seeing first editions from the 1980s, with a letter from The Paris Review to Iris Murdoch regarding an interview dated 14 Mar 1977 and a photograph of a book shop.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

Original order.

Conditions governing access:

Available to view by appointment in the Kingston University Archives and Special Collections search room.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Some copying possible. Please contact Kingston University Archives and Special Collections for more information.

Finding aids:

Please see Kingston University Archives and Special Collections online catalogue.

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Kindly presented to the Archive by Miles Leeson.

Allied Materials

Related material:

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:

Rules or conventions:

Date(s) of descriptions:
December 2017

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