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Iris Murdoch

(1919-1999), Novelist and philosopher

Dame (Jean) Iris Murdoch

Sitter in 35 portraits
Murdoch graduated with a first-class degree from Somerville College, Oxford (1942) and studied philosophy at Newnham College, Cambridge (1947-8), before becoming a tutor in the subject at St Anne's College, Oxford until 1963. Her works on philosophy include Sartre, Romantic Rationalist (1953). After publishing her first novel Under the Net in 1954, Murdoch wrote one novel a year, and in 1978 she won the booker prize for The Sea, The Sea. Described as psychological thrillers, they portray 20th century professional and intellectual middle-class life. She married John Bayley in 1956, and their struggle with her Alzheimer's Disease was the subject of his books, and the film Iris (2002).

Watch a film clip on the sitter from the BBC Archive in the Media section below

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Iris Murdoch, by Anthea Sieveking - NPG x199137

Iris Murdoch

by Anthea Sieveking
bromide print, 1960s
NPG x199137

Iris Murdoch, by Michael Peto - NPG x137675

Iris Murdoch

by Michael Peto
modern bromide print from original negative, June 1962
NPG x137675

Iris Murdoch, by Janet Stone - NPG x23337

Iris Murdoch

by Janet Stone
print, 1966
NPG x23337

Iris Murdoch, by Madame Yevonde - NPG x23319

Iris Murdoch

by Madame Yevonde
bromide print on velvet card mount, 1967
NPG x23319

Iris Murdoch, by Madame Yevonde - NPG x26364

Iris Murdoch

by Madame Yevonde
bromide print on velvet card mount, 1967
NPG x26364

Iris Murdoch, by J.S. Lewinski - NPG x13738

Iris Murdoch

by J.S. Lewinski
bromide print on card mount, 1968
NPG x13738

Iris Murdoch, by Godfrey Argent - NPG x127781

Iris Murdoch

by Godfrey Argent
bromide print, 10 December 1969
NPG x127781

Iris Murdoch, by Godfrey Argent - NPG x87793

Iris Murdoch

by Godfrey Argent
bromide print, 10 December 1969
NPG x87793

Iris Murdoch, by Godfrey Argent - NPG x87789

Iris Murdoch

by Godfrey Argent
bromide print, 1970
NPG x87789

Iris Murdoch, by Cecil Beaton - NPG x14153

Iris Murdoch

by Cecil Beaton
bromide print on white card mount, 1972
NPG x14153

Iris Murdoch, by Mayotte Magnus - NPG x18628

Iris Murdoch

by Mayotte Magnus
bromide print, June 1976
NPG x18628

Iris Murdoch, by Jane Bown - NPG x28628

Iris Murdoch

by Jane Bown
bromide print on card mount, 1978
NPG x28628

Web image not currently available

Iris Murdoch

by Mark Gerson
bromide print, October 1958
NPG x13765

Image currently unavailable owing to copyright restrictions

Iris Murdoch

by Bill Brandt
bromide print on card mount, 1963
NPG x22449

Web image not currently available

Iris Murdoch

by Nicholas Elder
bromide print on card mount, November 1974
NPG x4041

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