Iris Murdoch: The Philosopher's Pupil

(2082 words)
  • Tammy Grimshaw

In the dramatic opening scene, George McCaffrey, the eponymous character of this novel, attempts to murder his wife, Stella, by pushing their car into a canal – an event which Father Bernard Jacoby, the parish’s eccentric Anglican priest, secretly witnesses. The narrator, who introduces himself simply as “N” after recounting this event, refuses to divulge the name of the city in which the narrative is set, calling the location of the story N’s town or Ennistone. We learn that Ennistone is renowned for its mineral baths, as well as for its illustrious philosopher, John Robert Rozanov, who will soon return from America to live in the town.

Realising that her husband intends to inflict serious harm upon …

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Grimshaw, Tammy. "The Philosopher's Pupil". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 18 March 2004
[, accessed 23 May 2015.]