Inspiring women: Iris Murdoch

"Art and morality are, with certain provisos…one. Their essence is the same. The essence of both of them is love. Love is the perception of individuals. Love is the extremely difficult realization that something other than oneself is real. Love, and so art and morals, is the discovery of reality. " - Iris Murdoch


It's no surprise that I've always harboured a love for Iris Murdoch. After all, she was an Irish-born philosopher and author; at various stages of my life things I was and wanted to be.

Murdoch always seemed to me to be an unfazed sort of intellect. In my mind, this set her apart from Nin, Woolf, Plath et al—writers I admired in different ways, but whom I have always had trouble fully connecting with. Murdoch embodied a clarity of vision, even when tackling the most abstruse and sensual subjects, that I greatly admired.

Among Murdoch's many literary awards were the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, the Whitbread Prize and the Booker Prize in 1978, for which 6 of her novels had been shortlisted. 


Centre for Iris Murdoch Studies
Fiction: The Sea, The Sea (Penguin Twentieth-Century Classics)
Philosophy: Existentialists and Mystics: Writings on Philosophy and Literature & Metaphysics as a Guide to Morals (Penguin Philosophy)

Image credit: Portrait of Iris Murdoch from the New York World-Telegram and the Sun Newspaper Photograph Collection via
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