7 Nov 2009 – gift from Michelle

I’d been wanting to get my hands on this book for some time, and was particularly pleased to find that this is the new edition, with reviews and introductions of later novels not covered in the original text.  So, we have full chapters on the novels up to The Unicorn, and then shorter pieces going right up to The Book and the Brotherhood (though not covering every single book), plus two extended essays on the works as a whole. 

A joy to read – Byatt is certainly not hagiographical and she points out the struggles Murdoch has with showing very strong emotion and love scenes, managing to slip from great to terrible writing within a single paragraph sometimes.  But she identifies themes we’re familiar with, is nicer about The Black Prince than the others in my Murdoch-a-Month group were, and does a good job of relating themes in the novels to Murdoch’s philosophical interests, without going too deeply and confusing the reader.

Glad to have read this, and to have it as a reference source.