One of the most outstanding British authors of the twentieth century, Iris Murdoch was a writer of multi-layered novels, often of a strong philosophical and psychological bent. The pronounced philosophical aspect to Murdoch’s work is a result of her studies in that subject at Oxford, both before and after World War II. After penning a study of Sartre in 1953, Murdoch began work on her debut novel, Under the Net, which garnered widespread acclaim for its accomplished melding of intellectual heft and sophisticated comedy. Subsequent novels, such as A Severed Head, The Nice and the Good and The Black Prince, all repeated the trick, presenting characters with a range of philosophical viewpoints and interrogating their positions throughout the narrative. Recognition of her extraordinary skill came with a Booker Prize win for The Sea, The Sea in 1978. In 1994 Murdoch was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease, and the final few years of her life are documented by her husband John Bayley in Elegy for Iris, which was adapted for the big screen in 2001.