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Degrees of Freedom
About the book
  • Published: 7 February 1995
  • ISBN: 9780099302247
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 368
  • RRP: $27.99

Degrees of Freedom

The Early Novels of Iris Murdoch


Formats & editions


First published in 1965, A.S. Byatt's Degrees of Freedom examined the first eight novels of Iris Murdoch, identifying freedom as a central theme in all of them, and looking at Murdoch's interest in the relations between art and goodness, master and slave, and the novel of character in the nineteenth century sense. Drawing on Iris Murdoch's own critical and philosphical writing, A.S. Byatt discussed her interest in the thought of Sartre, Plato, Freud and Simone Weil, and related this to the form of the novels themselves.
This edition of Degrees of Freedom has an added dossier of later essays and reviews of Iris Murdoch's work by A.S Byatt, taking us up to the publication of The Book and the Brotherhood in 1987. It also includes a substantial pamplet written for the British Council which follows Murdoch's fiction as far as The Good Apprentice.

  • Pub date: 7 February 1995
  • ISBN: 9780099302247
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 368
  • RRP: $27.99

About the Author

A S Byatt

A.S. Byatt is a novelist, short-story writer and critic of international renown. Her novels include Possession (winner of the Booker Prize 1990), the Frederica Quartet and The Children’s Book, which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Fiction. She was appointed CBE in 1990 and DBE in 1999, and was awarded the Erasmus Prize 2016 for her ‘inspiring contribution to life writing’ and the Pak Kyongni Prize 2017. In 2018 she received the Hans Christian Andersen Literature Award.

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Praise for Degrees of Freedom

“An extremely intelligent and penetrating piece of work”

Frank Kermode, Guardian

“Indispensable fto anyone wanting to understand what it is that Iris Murdoch is up to”

Stephen Wall, The Listener


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