Iris Murdoch

Iris Murdoch: The Sea, The Sea, A Severed Head & Something Special
  • Iris Murdoch: The Sea, The Sea, A Severed Head & Something Special

    • Iris Murdoch

    • Catherine Cusack (Read by)

    • Full Cast (Read by)

    • John Wood (Read by)

    • Joyce Redman (Read by)

    • Julian Rhind-Tutt (Read by)

    • Victoria Hamilton (Read by)

    Full-cast dramatisations and a reading of works by Iris Murdoch, plus a bonus interview with the author herself

    Booker Prize-winning author Iris Murdoch is renowned for her sublime fiction, exploring themes such as art, passion, morality and human freedom. Included in this collection are adaptations of two of her finest novels and a reading of her only published short story, as well as an edition of Writers Revealed in which Murdoch discusses her ideas and beliefs.

    The Sea, The Sea
    Charles Arrowby, celebrated actor, writer and director, has retired from his London world and come to the sea to become a hermit and draft his memoirs. But the past will not let him rest… This dramatisation of Murdoch’s most famous novel, which won the Booker Prize in 1978, stars John Wood as Charles and Joyce Redman as Hartley.

    A Severed Head
    When Martin Lynch-Gibbon's wife runs off with her analyst and his best friend, Palmer Anderson, the three characters attempt to behave in a civilised manner. But there is the matter of Martin's mistress and Palmer's sister to contend with – and undoubtedly the thin veneer of civilisation will crack… Iris Murdoch’s blackly comic satire on analysis and amorality stars Julian Rhind-Tutt, Victoria Hamilton and Matthew Marsh.

    Something Special
    Young Irishwoman Yvonne passionately believes that there is more to life than marriage to Sam, a respectable tailor's apprentice. But a night out in Dublin forces her to confront reality… Read by Catherine Cusack.

    Writers Revisited: Iris Murdoch
    Iris Murdoch talks about faith, religion and the creative process in conversation with Rosemary Hartill.

Iris Murdoch was born in Dublin in 1919. She read Classics at Somerville College, Oxford, and after working in the Treasury and abroad, was awarded a research studentship in Philosophy at Newnham College, Cambridge. In 1948 she returned to Oxford as fellow and tutor at St Anne’s College and later taught at the Royal College of Art. Until her death in 1999, she lived in Oxford with her husband, the academic and critic, John Bayley. She was made a Dame of the British Empire in 1987 and in the 1997 PEN Awards received the Gold Pen for Distinguished Service to Literature. Iris Murdoch made her writing debut in 1954 with Under the Net. Her twenty-six novels include the Booker prize-winning The Sea, The Sea (1978), the James Tait Black Memorial prize-winning The Black Prince (1973) and the Whitbread prize-winning The Sacred and Profane Love Machine (1974). Her philosophy includes Sartre: Romantic Rationalist (1953) and Metaphysics as a Guide to Morals (1992); other philosophical writings, including 'The Sovereignty of Good' (1970), are collected in Existentialists and Mystics (1997).


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