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Murdoch, Iris (1919-1999): Iris Murdoch related material presented by Anne Rowe

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 2108 KUAS195
Held at: Kingston University
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Full title: Murdoch, Iris (1919-1999): Iris Murdoch related material presented by Anne Rowe
Date(s): [1990-2010]
Level of description: Fonds
Extent: 1 box
Name of creator(s): Murdoch | Dame | Jean Iris | 1919-1999 | author
Rowe | Anne | fl. 1985- | scholar


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.

Anne Rowe is a scholar with expertise in Iris Murdoch. She was the head of the Iris Murdoch Archives Project at Kingston University and is the author of several books on Iris Murdoch.


Scope and content/abstract:

Items relating to Iris Murdoch presented to the archives by Anne Rowe. Includes:
1) Papers on a proposed Festschrift on Iris Murdoch collated by Peter Conradi
2) Copies of the newsletter for the Iris Murdoch Society of Japan
3) Press articles on Iris Murdoch
4) Letters written to Anne Rowe and Peter Conradi regarding Iris Murdoch
5) Original text copies of the Iris Murdoch Society Newsletters Nos 1-19
6) Unpublished essay by Rachel Cusk on Iris Murdoch

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:

Items collected by Anne Rowe during the course of her work on Iris Murdoch.

Immediate source of acquisition:

Kindly presented by Anne Rowe.

Allied Materials

Related material:

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:

Rules or conventions:

Date(s) of descriptions:
December 2017

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