...anyone who misses the regular appearance of new Murdoch novels will find plenty to enjoy and admire in these letters. They pitch us back into her cerebral yet vaguely surreal and magical intellectual world. Her mind, here as in everything she wrote, is formidable.
This bumper selection of her letters is patently something rather more than an attempt to trumpet her qualities as a correspondent. It is also, 16 years after its subject’s minutely documented death from Alzheimer’s disease, and in a world where the canon is apparently in sharp retreat, aimed at furbishing up her status.
Although Murdoch destroyed many of her letters and journals and may well have instructed her correspondents to do the same, a mountain survives. The selection Horner and Rowe have made offers insight into many corners of her life and work as well as her abiding, always discreet, kindness to friends. But the central focus is on Murdoch’s sexual career.