Iris Murdoch: The Black Prince

(2091 words)
  • Cheryl Bove (Independent Scholar - North America)

A scene of domestic violence frames the action of Iris Murdoch's The Black Prince. Bradley Pearson, the novel's first-person narrator, is telephoned by his best friend, novelist Arnold Baffin, who reports that he has just murdered his wife with a blow from a fireplace poker. Baffin has not actually succeeded in murdering his wife, Rachel, but by the novel's ending Pearson receives yet another phone call, this time from Rachel, claiming that she has indeed murdered her husband with this same fireplace poker. Subsequently, Bradley Pearson is himself convicted of Arnold's murder, and the novel becomes a work of art in his retelling of his love for the Baffins' twenty-year-old daughter, Julian. Bradley's life-long pilgrimage in …

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Bove, Cheryl. "The Black Prince". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 23 May 2003
[, accessed 28 September 2016.]