Here, for the first time, is Iris Murdoch's life in her own words, from her schoolgirl days to her last years.
The letters show a great mind at work – we see the young Murdoch struggling with philosophical issues and witness her anguish when a novel won’t come together. As well as her sharp sense of humour and irreverence, they also reveal her personal life, the subject of much speculation, in all its complexity: her emotional hunger and her tendency to live on the edge of what was socially acceptable. We see how this fed into her novels’ plots and characters, despite her claims that her fiction was not drawn from reality.
These letters bring us closer than ever before to Iris Murdoch as a person. They make for an extraordinary and intimate reading experience: she is wonderful company.