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Murdoch, Iris (1919-1999): Iris Murdoch's Joanna, Joanna Archive

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 2108 KUAS228
Held at: Kingston University
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Full title: Murdoch, Iris (1919-1999): Iris Murdoch's Joanna, Joanna Archive
Date(s): 1994
Level of description: Fonds
Extent: 1 box
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. ,br/> 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:

Archival material relating to Iris Murdoch's play 'Joanna, Joanna'. Includes:
1) Typed script for the play by Fraser and Dunlop [script at this time entitled 'Joanna, Joanna, Joanna']
2) Advanced reading copy of the published version on the play dated 30 Aug 1994, produced by Colophon Press.
3) Proof of published version of the play dated 24 Jul 1994, with handwritten note on the front by unknown individual. NB the play at this point was called 'Joanna'.
4) Folder containing:
- Handwritten note of contact details and sums by unknown individual
- Covering note from Gordon Dickenson at Peters, Fraser and Dunlop to David [full name unknown] dated 08 Jun 1994 forwarding on copy of the play
- Draft of published version of the play grouped into 7 small booklets
- 3 copies of leaflet for the published version of the play
- 5 copies of draft headers for the play
- Draft of invitation to the launch of the play
- 7 letters between Gordon Dickenson at Peters, Fraser and Dunlop and David Rees dated Jun Aug 1994 regarding publication play, including a letter regarding Iris Murdoch mislaying the proofs for the text but being pleased with proofs sent and approving publication
- 2 drafts of play title page
- 7 drafts of title label for the book
- 3 drafts of inside title page and draft of characters list
- Copy of a letter from Iris Murdoch regarding changing title of the play to 'Joanna' c. Jul 1994
- Proof of first page from the play dated Aug 1994
- 2 Loose-leaf Proofs of play dated 24 Jul 1994
- Handwritten notes on edits to be made to the play by unknown individual
- Loose-leaf proof of the play dated 27 Aug 1994

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:

Limited copying may be possible. Please contact Kingston University Archives and Special Collections for more information.

Finding aids:

Please see Kingston University Archives and Special Collections catalogue.

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Kindly presented by the Iris Murdoch Society.

Allied Materials

Related material:

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:

Rules or conventions:

Date(s) of descriptions:
December 2017

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