My Iris Murdoch project
Welcome to my Iris Murdoch project pages. This is where you will find information on my on-going Iris Murdoch and Book Groups research project. You can find blog posts and the latest updates on this blog, now, under the category “Iris Murdoch”.
Background to the project
Reading about book groups and belonging to a few myself, I noticed that the books chosen tend to be either very recently published, especially when they’re recommended by media outlets such as the Richard & Judy Book Club and various shop promotions, or classics, (e.g. Jane Austen and the like) or books that have been approved as classics by winning prizes (Booker winners, etc.). Some friends and I have recently been reading Iris Murdoch’s fiction, and it struck me that one of her books might be a good book club read.
I’ve done some background research on book groups and how they choose what to read, and this bears out my original thoughts. I think there are many more mid-20th-century books that would be good book group reads, and have chosen a book by Iris Murdoch as an example, to see if this is so.
So far, I’ve conducted a case study on my own book group, which read all of IM’s books chronologically over a few years. I have then got 25 book groups to read “The Bell” and complete a questionnaire all about whether it’s a good book group read. I presented some initial findings, mainly on my own group, at the Iris Murdoch Society Conference in September 2012, and findings on the book groups at the Conference in September 2014 – I have written up an initial article from that paper and am writing up a larger work on the project as a whole.
By the way, you can also contact me via email