> Skip to content
About the book
  • Published: 3 September 2019
  • ISBN: 9781784875206
  • Imprint: Vintage Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 368
  • RRP: $22.99

The Bell

Vintage Classics Murdoch Series




A novel that offers uplifting lessons in love – now republished as part of the Vintage Classics Murdoch Series – six gorgeous editions of her best, funniest and most subversive novels published to mark her centenary.

VINTAGE CLASSICS MURDOCH: Funny, subversive, fearless and fiercely intelligent, Iris Murdoch was one of the great writers of the twentieth century. To celebrate her centenary Vintage Classics presents special editions of her greatest and most timeless novels.

WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY SARAH PERRY

‘In this holy community she would play the witch.’

Imber Court is a quiet haven for lost souls, a utopia for those who can neither live in the world, nor out of it. But beneath the gentle daily routines of this community run currents of supressed desire, religious yearning and a legend of disastrous love. Charming, indolent Dora arrives in their midst, and half-unwittingly conjures these submerged things to the surface.

  • Pub date: 3 September 2019
  • ISBN: 9781784875206
  • Imprint: Vintage Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 368
  • RRP: $22.99

About the Author

Iris Murdoch

Iris Murdoch was born in Dublin in 1919. She read Classics at Somerville College, Oxford, and after working in the Treasury and abroad, was awarded a research studentship in philosophy at Newnham College, Cambridge. In 1948 she returned to Oxford as fellow and tutor at St Anne’s College and later taught at the Royal College of Art. Until her death in 1999, she lived in Oxford with her husband, the academic and critic, John Bayley. She was made a Dame of the British Empire in 1987 and in the 1997 PEN Awards received the Gold Pen for Distinguished Service to Literature.

Iris Murdoch made her writing debut in 1954 with Under the Net. Her twenty-six novels include the Booker prize-winning The Sea, The Sea (1978), the James Tait Black Memorial prize-winning The Black Prince (1973) and the Whitbread prize-winning The Sacred and Profane Love Machine (1974). Her philosophy includes Sartre: Romantic Rationalist (1953) and Metaphysics as a Guide to Morals (1992); other philosophical writings, including The Sovereignty of Good (1970), are collected in Existentialists and Mystics (1997).

Also by Iris Murdoch

See all

Praise for The Bell

“She's writing about the only things that matter – love, goodness and how to be happy”

Patrick Gale, Independent

“The plot is both comical and moving, and it’s a book that everyone who’s ever been tempted to throw in the towel and become a hermit should read....despite the grand subjects at issue, the novel’s tone is not at all dry or didactic – it is, on the contrary, wonderfully lively and poignant at the same time, tender with a sprightly social comedy reminiscent of PG Wodehouse and Barbara Pym”

Guardian

“Her characters are described with loving exactitude and in such depth that their struggles to define what it means to live a good life take on dramatic force”

New York Times

“How bloody good her novels are – how intelligent, how lucent, how divinely crazy. They’re fun – I’d forgotten that”

Sarah Waters, Guardian

“Above all, she was a consummate story-teller, prodigiously inventive and generous, in the realist tradition of Dickens, Jane Austen, George Eliot, Henry James, Tolstoy and Dostoevsky”

Independent

“A tragi-comic masterpiece... A magnificent novel”

Susan Hill, The Lady

“Her best book… Classic Murdoch tropes… are married to a spry and well-developed plot”

James Marriott, The Times

“The Bell is not frightening, precisely, but it offers that uneasy sensation of being suspended, somehow, between what is familiar and what is strange… a kind of hot, dreamlike muddle… The Bell has, in the 60 years since its publication, lost none of its power to disrupt”

Sarah Perry, Daily Telegraph


Related titles