Iris: A Memoir of Iris Murdoch. John Bayley
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In 1998 John Bayley wrote a best-selling, critically acclaimed memoir of his wife, the great philosopher and novelist Iris Murdoch, who had been suffering from Alzheimer's disease since 1996. At times unbearably moving, at times poignantly comical, this memoir provides a fitting memorial to Dame Iris. It is an enchanting portrait of a remarkable marriage and an inspiration for anyone whose life is affected by Alzheimer's.
discovery of the deceit – he had asked her to write a little note of thanks to one of the guests – and he is left to face the future fettered to an unchosen partner, like two slaves chained in a galley. Hardy’s grim metaphor no doubt seemed wholly appropriate both to him and to his young hero. I remembered the story while the woman was speaking. 57 — IRIS — Our own situations were not the same, it was to be presumed, as those of the young man and girl. Fate had not deceived us. We had known
on her fourth. An unforgettable scene in her third, The Sandcastle, has a green Riley car undergoing a complex underwater adventure. I was proud of knowing where the original of the Riley, as a character in the book, had come from, because I had found the car for Iris after a diligent study of the advertisements in the Oxford Mail. This had itself followed a mildly unfortunate incident involving a car – her car. It was a pale blue Hillman Minx, and it had been bought out of the proceeds of the
of solitude in closeness. The Strand was one of the most unsuccessful brands of 129 — IRIS — cigarette ever marketed. I remember later hearing from a young man, an ex-pupil who worked in advertising, that in those circles it was mentioned in the same breath as Craven A. Craven A, though it continued to be a popular smoke, once nearly ruined itself with the advertisement: ‘Craven A – does not affect your throat.’ Smokers had at once put their hand to their throats and thought God, I’d better
that, if so, one could be sure that the Bard had held his horses better than anyone else. A really great artist can concentrate and succeed at almost anything, and Iris would have been no exception. If she had borne a child she would have looked after it better and more conscientiously than most mothers, and no doubt would have brought it up better too. But in that case she would not have written the books that she did write. I can’t recall myself saying that I would be the cook. To me it just
other people saw it. Although it was in no way conventional itself its trappings, so to speak, were now conventional. Their appearance disappointed me sadly. They seemed the sort of things that any girl would wear; a silly girl who had not the taste to choose her clothes carefully. Well, there was nothing to be done about that. Iris seemed preoccupied. Perhaps about her face, which she now dabbed with powder, or her hair, or some hitch in her underwear. She wriggled and pulled her dress about