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.

Big, exciting update

Iris Murdoch and the Common ReaderMy research project is FINISHED and I’ve had it printed up – it’s available to buy via Amazon worldwide. Phew! Seven years in the making.


11 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. More resources to read and share « LibroEditing proofreading, editing, writing
    Oct 05, 2012 @ 13:15:06

  2. katie
    Sep 09, 2013 @ 13:02:29

    I’m an avid reader of Iris Murdoch – are you still running book groups and asking for feedback? Currently reading ‘The Word Child’



    • Liz at Libro
      Sep 09, 2013 @ 13:04:12

      Thanks for your comment, Katie. I have finished the data collection part of my study now – I had book groups read “The Bell”, but I’m always happy to talk about IM. There is a lively IM group on the forums if you’re a member of LibraryThing (highly recommended)



  3. smallvillenyc
    Oct 04, 2014 @ 15:43:52

    The e-mail link did not seem to work. I just started reading “The Bell” , and have read 3 others by Iris so far. I don’t suppose you still do the questionnaire 🙂 or could send me one by e-mail, that I could fill out when I finish book. I feel this book is about to catapult me into becoming a true Murdochian , and may even change my life. 🙂
    Thank you




    • Liz at Libro
      Oct 05, 2014 @ 07:05:59

      Hello David and thanks for your message. The email link should still work – what happened when you tried to use it? You can always use the contact form to get in touch via the website. I have actually finished my questionnaire study now, so I’m not recruiting any more readers and groups, otherwise I would never finish my research and would never write it up. But I’m thrilled that you’re enjoying the books. If you’re on Facebook, there is an Iris Murdoch Appreciation group you can join – tell them I sent you!



  4. Book reviews – From a Tiny Corner in the House of Fiction and An Irrelevant Woman (May reads) | Adventures in reading, writing and working from home
    Jun 02, 2015 @ 20:35:06

  5. Roland
    Dec 19, 2016 @ 14:09:52

    I don’t suppose you know in which Murdoch novel/s All Saints in Margaret Street appears? I am trying to track this down as I have a few letters and cards written by her and there is a reference to this church. Thanks. Roland.



    • Liz Dexter
      Dec 19, 2016 @ 14:17:11

      Thank you for your question, Roland. I’m afraid I don’t know off the top of my head. If you’re on Facebook, you might have more luck with the IM Appreciation Group on there – if you’re not on Facebook, let me know, and I’ll ask them.



  6. Roland
    Dec 19, 2016 @ 14:23:17

    Many thanks. I will try that. Roland.



  7. “The Sandcastle” round-up and “The Bell” preview #IMReadalong @IrisMurdoch | Adventures in reading, writing and working from home
    Jan 31, 2018 @ 11:00:40

  8. Book review – Iris Murdoch – “The Bell” #IMReadalong | Adventures in reading, writing and working from home
    Feb 23, 2018 @ 18:11:25

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