It's the midsummer ball at Oxford, and a group of men and women - friends since university days - have gathered under the stars. Included in this group is David Crimond, a genius and fervent Marxist. Years earlier the friends had persuaded David to write a philosophical and political book on their behalf. But opinions and loyalties have changed, and on this summer evening the long-resting ghosts of the past come careering back into the present.
Iris Murdoch is incapable of writing without fascinating and beautiful colour
Iris Murdoch was one of the best and most influential writers of the twentieth century
With a bank holiday approaching and no open pubs in sight, Rob Crossan rounds up the finest literary ones to indulge in, instead.
Funny, subversive, fearless and fiercely intelligent, Iris Murdoch was one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century. To celebrate the centenary of her birth, here's our guide to help you pick which Murdoch book to read first – or last!