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New details of Iris Murdoch’s hidden affair uncovered by Chichester academic

Iris Murdoch profile picture published in her novels

NEW evidence about a relationship between renowned novelist Iris Murdoch and the lesser-known writer Brigid Brophy has been discovered by a University of Chichester academic.

Dr Miles Leeson, who leads the Iris Murdoch Research Centre at the institution, investigated the writers’ 12-year affair by reading unpublished material at the Iris Murdoch Archive at Kingston University. The Senior Lecturer in English Literature will present his findings in the USA next month at Fairmont State University in West Virginia, and the University of Louisville in Kentucky.

“They were together from 1955 until 1967, although both were married, and Iris, but not Brigid, had other love interests,” said Dr Leeson. “My contention is that, using unpublished work, letters, and journals, it can be suggested that they encoded their relationship within the novels they wrote during this period.”

The writers’ little-known relationship is the focus of new work by Leeson which will form a part of his next book; Iris Murdoch: Feminist. His next book, Incest in contemporary Fiction, will be published by Manchester University Press at

Find out more about Dr Leeson and his work at the Iris Murdoch Research Centre at or follow updates visit at