Iris Murdoch: A Writer at War

by Peter J Conradi

  • Published: 04 Feb 2010
  • Price: £16.99
  • Format: Hardback
  • Extent: 304p
  • ISBN: 9781906021221
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These writings, never before published, comprise Iris Murdoch’s intimate war-time correspondence with two men. First the poet Frank Thompson, who was murdered in Bulgaria in 1944, and whom she grew to love. To Frank she reveals her innermost self � her journey from Oxford student to apprentice writer in bohemian London. Then there are love-letters to David Hicks, a teacher in Cairo, with whom she duelled and fought. These carry an intensity of feeling and convey an extraordinary human drama, seductive, passionate, wise, witty and ultimately heart-breaking.

A Writer at War also includes the journal that Murdoch, as a touring actress, kept during late August 1939, conveying the uniquely strange atmosphere of that count-down to Armageddon. This treasury of writing by one of the great women writers and thinkers of the 20th century sheds new light on a brilliant mind in development, and is also a remarkable historical document of life behind the scenes in the Second World War.

“Exhilarating and enchanting, bursting with insights and observations... I put the book down in sweet reflection that nothing in life is more beautiful than love's young dream. ”
Rupert Christiansen, <em>The Telegraph</em>
“Nevertheless, it's a sign of Conradi's tact that, even after his access to her journals and his dogged disinterring of ancient lovers, he allows Iris to remain mysterious, or at least insolubly contradictory, her warring motives masked by that ambiguous Gioconda smile. ”
Peter Conrad, <em>The Guardian</em>
<em>The Scotsman</em>

About Peter J Conradi

Peter J Conradi is the author, among other books of Iris Murdoch: A Life, the critically lauded biography of Iris Murdoch and more recently of Going Buddhist and At the Bright Hem of God: Radnorshire Pastoral.