The Severed Head
|Author:||Iris Murdoch; Miranda Seymour (Introduction by)|
|Series:||Vintage Classics Ser.|
A novel about the frightfulness and ruthlessness of being in love
Martin Lynch-Gibson believes he can possess both a beautiful wife and a delightful lover. But when his wife, Antonia, suddenly leaves him for her psychoanalyst, Martin is plunged into an intensive emotional reeducation. He attempts to behave beautifully and sensibly. Then he meets a woman whose demonic splendor at first repels him and later arouses a consuming and monstrous passion. As his Medusa informs him, "this is nothing to do with happiness."
A Severed Head was adapted for a successful stage production in 1963 and was later made into a film starring Claire Bloom, Lee Remick, Richard Attenborough, and Ian Holm.
A complicated and comic story of dangerous love affairs
"A power of intellect quite exceptional in a novelist." -"Sunday Times"
"She is incapable of writing without fascinating and beautiful colour." -"The Times"
Iris Murdoch was born in Dublin in 1919 of Anglo-Irish parents. She went to Badminton School, Bristol, and read classics at Somerville College, Oxford. In 1948 she returned to Oxford where she became a fellow of St Anne's college. Awarded the CBE in 1976, Iris Murdoch was made a DBE in the 1987 New Year's Honours List. She died in February 1999.