Iris Murdoch Society Christmas Lecture
Thursday 21 December @ 7:30 pm - 9:00 pmFree – £5.00
Thursday 21st December 2023, 19.30 – 21.00 BST
Free for IMS Members, £5 all others.
Much of our conception of the relationship between Iris Murdoch and John Bayley, happily married for over forty years, comes from Bayley’s memoirs, and the Oscar-winning film adaptation of the first, Iris (2001). But what do we know of their life together outside of their public appearances and international travel? In this lecture Miles Leeson will explore their intellectual relationship from their first meeting in 1955, through to John resuming his novel writing with his ‘Alice’ trilogy in the 1990s. Murdoch’s achievements are very well known, of course: John’s stretched well beyond memoir and fiction writing; his first major publication, the poem ‘Eldorado’, won the Newdigate Prize in 1951, and he was acclaimed as a book reviewer and essayist for The New York Times and many other journals and newspapers. As an expert on Austen, Tolstoy, Shakespeare, Pushkin, Goethe and many others – indeed many of Iris’s favourite writers – their mutually enriching conversations arguably created a synergy or minds in simpatico. This lecture will attempt to trace these confluences and suggest ways of approaching their work in tandem.