Iris Murdoch: The Book and The Brotherhood

(2044 words)
  • Tammy Grimshaw

A well-paced, dynamic novel, The Book and the Brotherhood addresses the themes of change and breakdown in society in the late twentieth century. The narrative opens at the Commen Ball at Oxford, during which Murdoch introduces the primary characters of the book. Jean Kowitz and Duncan Cambus have had a troubled and turbulent marriage. Throughout the evening, Jean dances with David Crimond, her former lover, who is an enigmatic writer and philosopher. Crimond's date for the evening is Lily Boyne, who has been secretly in love with him for some time. We meet Rose Curtland, Gerard Hernshaw and Jenkin Riderhood, friends of Jean, Duncan and Crimond, who were their Oxford contemporaries and, like their friends, are now middle-aged. …

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Grimshaw, Tammy. "The Book and The Brotherhood". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 07 April 2004
[, accessed 22 May 2015.]