Iris Murdoch was born in Dublin and made her writing debut with Under the Net in 1954. She wrote 26 novels and several books of philosophy.
She read Classics at Somerville College, Oxford, and 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. Her 26 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).