A Word Child
Hilary Burde, saved by education from a delinquent childhood, cheated out of Oxford by a tragic love tangle, cherishes his obsessive guilt and disappointment in a dull, orderly civil service job. When the man whom he has harmed and betrayed reappears as head of his department, Hilary hopes for forgiveness, even for redemption and a new life, but finds himself haunted by a ghostly repetition.
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 Ann'e 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.