By Iris Murdoch
Published by Chatto & Windus
The Book and the Brotherhood begins at a midsummer ball at Oxford, where a group of men and women - friends since university days - have gathered. Under the stars they dance: the charismatic Gerard Hernshaw; Rose Curtland, who has loved Gerard in silence for years; Duncan Cambus and his restless wife Jean; Jenkin Riderhood, the saintly schoolmaster who is the group’s moral center; Tamar Hernshaw, Gerard’s tomented niece; and, not least of all, David Crimond, the monomaniacal Marxist genius. Years ago, the friends bonded together to finance a political and philosophical book to be written by Crimond as a memorial to Sinclair Curtland, Rose’s brother; on this summer’s evening, Crimond’s actions at the ball touch off a crisis, and by the night’s end the vindictive ghosts of the past have effectively invaded the present.