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Graham Nerlich

If you’re a bookish type of a certain age, chances are you went through your Iris Murdoch period. You binged on novels such as The Black Prince (1973) and The Sea, The Sea (1978); you immersed yourself in her world of perplexed, agonised souls searching for meaning, falling disastrously in love with absurdly wrong people, consoling themselves with a swim or a madrigal singalong. It’s less likely that you will have read any of her philosophical writings, but you were in awe of her mind, and her eventual eclipse by Alzheimer’s seemed like a particularly cruel blow. Your impression of her is probably of a brilliant, absent-minded professor who looked like Judi Dench.

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