AIM25 : Click here to go back to the AIM25 homepage
Archives in London and the M25 area

Murdoch, Iris (1919-1999): Letters from Iris Murdoch to Devaki Jain

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 2108 KUAS229
Held at: Kingston University
  Click here to find out how to view this collection at ›
Full title: Murdoch, Iris (1919-1999): Letters from Iris Murdoch to Devaki Jain
Date(s): 1962-[1989]
Level of description: Fonds
Extent: 1 file
Name of creator(s): Murdoch | Dame | Jean Iris | 1919-1999 | author
Jain | Devaki | 1933- | economist | writer


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.

Devaki Jain is a writer and economist, best known for her writing on feminist economics.


Scope and content/abstract:

20 letters from Iris Murdoch to writer and economist Devaki Jain, largely regarding arrangements to meet but also regarding thoughts on religion, clothes, travelling and family. Dated mostly from the 1960s with one possible from 1980. With copies of 2 letters from Devaki Jain to Iris Murdoch, and 8 copies of title pages from Iris Murdoch novels with handwritten dedications from Iris Murdoch to Devaki Jain.

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 may be 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 by Devaki Jain.

Allied Materials

Related material:

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:

Rules or conventions:

Date(s) of descriptions:
December 2017

Related Subject Search

* To search for other records with similar subjects, tick any subjects above then click "Run New Search"

Related Personal Name Search

* To search for other records with similar names, tick any names above then click "Run New Search"