Dame Jean Iris Murdoch DBE (15 July 1919 – 8 February 1999) was an Irish-born British author and philosopher, best known for her novels about good and evil, sexual relationships, morality, and the power of the unconscious. Her first published novel, Under the Net, was selected in 1998 as one of Modern Library's 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century. In 1987, she was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire. In 2008, The Times ranked Murdoch twelfth on a list of "The 50 greatest British writers since 1945".
Iris Murdoch was born in Phibsborough, Dublin, Ireland, the daughter of Irene Alice (née Richardson) and Wills John Hughes Murdoch. Her father, a civil servant, came from a mainly Presbyterian sheep farming family from Hillhall, County Down. In 1915 he enlisted as a soldier in King Edward's Horse and served in France during the First World War before being commissioned as a Second lieutenant. Her mother had trained as a singer before Iris was born, and was from a middle class Church of Ireland family in Dublin. Iris Murdoch's parents first met in Dublin when her father was on leave and were married in 1918. Iris was the couple's only child. When she was a few weeks old the family moved to London, where her father had joined the Ministry of Health as a second class clerk...
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