A Severed Head

A Severed Head

3.73 (3,309 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author)  , Introduction by 

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Description

Martin believes he can possess both a beautiful wife and a delightful lover. But when his wife, Antonia, suddenly leaves him for her psychoanalyst, Martin is plunged into an intensive emotional re-education. He attempts to behave beautifully and sensibly. Then he meets a woman whose demonic splendour at first repels him and later arouses a consuming and monstrous passion. How will he survive it?show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 224 pages
  • 129 x 198 x 14mm | 162g
  • Vintage Publishing
  • Vintage Classics
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0099285363
  • 9780099285366
  • 132,489

Review quote

"This is a comedy with that touch of ferocity about it which makes for excitement" -- Elizabeth Jane Howard "Of all the novelists that have made their bow since the war she seems to me to be the most remarkable...behind her books one feels a power of intellect quite exceptional in a novelist" * Sunday Times * "Immensely readable...Miss Murdoch is blessedly clever without any of the aridity which, for some reason, that word is supposed to imply" -- Philip Toynbeeshow more

About Iris Murdoch

Iris Murdoch was born in Dublin in 1919. She read Classics at Somerville College, Oxford, and after working in the Treasury and abroad, was awarded a research studentship in philosophy at Newnham College, Cambridge. In 1948 she returned to Oxford as fellow and tutor at St Anne's College and later taught at the Royal College of Art. Until her death in 1999, she lived in Oxford with her husband, the academic and critic, John Bayley. She was made a Dame of the British Empire in 1987 and in the 1997 PEN Awards received the Gold Pen for Distinguished Service to Literature. Iris Murdoch made her writing debut in 1954 with Under the Net. Her twenty-six novels include the Booker prize-winning The Sea, The Sea (1978), the James Tait Black Memorial prize-winning The Black Prince (1973) and the Whitbread prize-winning The Sacred and Profane Love Machine (1974). Her philosophy includes Sartre: Romantic Rationalist (1953) and Metaphysics as a Guide to Morals (1992); other philosophical writings, including The Sovereignty of Good (1970), are collected in Existentialists and Mystics (1997).show more

Review Text

"Of all the novelists that have made their bow since the war she seems to me to be the most remarkable...behind her books one feels a power of intellect quite exceptional in a novelist"show more

Back cover copy

WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY MIRANDA SEYMOUR 'This is a comedy with that touch of ferocity about it which makes for excitement' Elizabeth Jane Howard Martin believes he can possess both a beautiful wife and a delightful lover. But when his wife, Antonia, suddenly leaves him for her psychoanalyst, Martin is plunged into an intensive emotional re-education. He attempts to behave beautifully and sensibly. Then he meets a woman whose demonic splendour at first repels him and later arouses a consuming and monstrous passion. How will he survive it? See also: The Bellshow more

Rating details

3,309 ratings
3.73 out of 5 stars
5 22% (727)
4 41% (1,353)
3 28% (923)
2 8% (249)
1 2% (57)
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