First published in 1965, A.S. Byatt's Degrees of Freedom examined the first eight vels of Iris Murdoch, identifying freedom as a central theme in all of them, and looking at Murdoch's interest in the relations between art and goodness, master and slave, and the vel of character in the nineteenth century sense. Drawing on Iris Murdoch's own critical and philosphical writing, A.S. Byatt discussed her interest in the thought of Sartre, Plato, Freud and Simone Weil, and related this to the form of the vels themselves. This edition of Degrees of Freedom has an added dossier of later essays and reviews of Iris Murdoch's work by A.S Byatt, taking us up to the publication of The Book and the Brotherhood in 1987. It also includes a substantial pamplet written for the British Council which follows Murdoch's fiction as far as The Good Apprentice.
A.S. Byatt is internationally acclaimed as a novelist, short story-writer and critic. Her books include Possession (winner of the Booker Prize in 1990), and the quartet of The Virgin in the Garden, Still Life, Babel Tower and A Whistling Woman. Educated at York and Newnham College, Cambridge, she taught at the Central School of Art and Design, and was Senior Lecturer in English at University College, London, before becoming a full-time writer in 1983. She was appointed CBE in 1990 and DBE in 1999.