Iris Murdoch (1919-1999)

Death: 8th February 1999
Location: Cremated, ashes scattered in the north 'J' flowerbeds at Oxford Crematorium, Headington, England
Cause of death: Alzheimer’s
Photo taken by: julia and keld
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Irish writer and philosopher. Born Jean Iris Murdoch in Dublin, her parents moved to London while she was young. She read classics, ancient history and philosophy at Oxford and went on to study under Ludwig Wittgenstein as a philosophy postgraduate at Cambridge. In 1948, she became a fellow of St Anne’s College, Oxford.
Her first novel, Under The Net, was published in 1954. In 1956 she met and married John Bayley, a novelist and English literature professor. She was awarded the Booker Prize in 1978 for The Sea, The Sea.
She wrote over 25 novels, philosophical and dramatic works until 1995, when she started to suffer the effects of Alzheimer’s disease. Murdoch was the subject of Richard Eyre’s 2001 biopic, Iris, which was based on John Bayley’s book Iris: A Memoir. Iris was played in turn by Kate Winslet and Judi Dench.