BLACK PRINCE COLLECTED Hardcover – Dec 27 1987
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• Shortlisted for the Booker Prize
• With an Introduction by Candia McWilliam
• "A source of wonder and delight... No summary can do justice to the rich intricacy of character and incident with which Miss Murdoch crowds every page." --Spectator
• "This is great Murdoch. It rings as clear as The Bell... her humour is all the more achingly funny because she keeps it on the edge of our vision." --Daily Mail --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
About the Author
IRIS MURDOCH was born in Dublin in 1919 of Anglo-Irish parents. She went to Badminton School, Bristol, and read classics at Somerville College, Oxford. During the war she was an Assistant Principal at the Treasury, and then worked with UNRRA in London, Belgium and Austria. She held a studentship in philosophy at Newnham College, Cambridge, and then in 1948 she returned to Oxford, where she became a Fellow of St Anne's College. Until her death in February 1999, she lived with her husband, the teacher and critic John Bayley, in Oxford. Awarded the CBE in 1976, Iris Murdoch was made a DBE in the 1987 New Year's Honours List. In the 1997 PEN Awards she received the Gold Pen for Distinguished Service to Literature. Iris Murdoch made her writing debut in 1954 with Under the Net, and went on to write twenty-six novels, including the Booker prize-winning The Sea, The Sea (1978). Other literary awards include the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for The Black Prince (1973) and the Whitbread Prize (now the Costa Book Award) for The Sacred and Profane Love Machine (1974). Her works of philosophy include Sartre: Romantic Rationalist, Metaphysics as a Guide to Morals (1992) and Existentialists and Mystics (1997) She wrote several plays including The Italian Girl (with James Saunders) and The Black Prince, adapted from her novels of the same name. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
Inside This Book(Learn More)
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It might be most dramatically effective to begin the tale at the moment when Arnold Baffin rang me up and said, 'Bradley, could you come round here please, I think that I have just killed my wife.' Read the first page
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
Top Customer Reviews
What it doesn't deserve, however, is Martha C. Nussbaum's quite misleading introduction-and this is the reason I cannot teach the book in my college classes, as an introduction by a scholar is tacitly seen as somehow "correct" in its claims and observations, almost an appendage to the text it introduces, especially to students. Nor is there a forum for readers to write letters of rebuttal to an introduction, outside of what I am doing now.
But while Nussbaum's background is in philosophy, as was Murdoch's, this is a novel, a work of imaginative literature. Nussbaum treats the text as an expression of Murdoch's own philosophical beliefs. This is problematic in theory, and can be almost ridiculous in practice, as it becomes here-I wonder why Nussbaum (not a literary critic or novelist herself) was chosen to write the introduction in the first place?
Iris Murdoch's novels are "philosophical", but not in the way Ms. Nussbaum would have it-in short, she makes the cardinal error of attributing to Murdoch's characters the author's own philosophical convictions. The protagonist, Bradley Pearson, is in many ways a quite disturbed man, whose critisism of the work of Arnold Baffin is parodic of the negative reviews Murdoch herself received during the 60s (for her work as a prolific, popular novelist). But Pearson's litanies on platonic love in Part Two are not "philosophy"--they are the histrionic ramblings of a failed writer having a psychological breakdown.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
This book came in record speed, was in great condition, and was also a phenomenal book. For some reason it is out of print, so used is the best and only way to get it.Published on Feb. 14 2012 by Jules123
self absorption and its consequences was a major theme in my perception of the characters with the strong exception of one character Julian. Read morePublished on June 30 2001 by MCLAUGHLINANNEMARIE
Regarding a previous review: Perhaps some of the characters are a bit prolix but this is not necessarily a defeat is it? Read morePublished on April 13 2000 by Joseph D. Mcquown
Iris Murdoch's books aren't for everyone: they are written for sensitive, intellectual, and introspective readers. The Black Prince is a very intelligent, well-crafted book. Read morePublished on Aug. 3 1999 by Richard
Iris Murdoch took me on a roller-coaster adventure through a comic succession of surprises but also terrible blows of a sort of fate. Read morePublished on April 28 1999
"The Black Prince" is a repelling page-turner. I often found myself reaching to pick it up, then reaching past it for almost anything else. Read morePublished on March 23 1999 by Daniel J. Palladino
I've read about half of Iris Murdoch's books, and I believe this book represents the pinnacle of her achievement. The book is deeply satisfying from beginning to end. Read morePublished on Feb. 12 1999
Iris Murdoch is at her best here -- profound, funny, moving, deeply insightful. If you've never read her books and find yourself daunted by philosophical treatises, the first... Read morePublished on July 25 1998