A Severed Head Summary
A Severed Head by Iris Murdoch is based in London, although the time frame is not clear. The language is somewhat timeless although the reader may imagine it as being set in the late 1960s. The voice of the story belongs to Martin Lynch-Gibbon, a 41-year-old married wine merchant.
Martin Lynch-Gibbon is one of three children, descended from an Anglo-Irish family on his father's side. Martin's mother was a Welsh painter. Martin is a tall, good-looking man with brown hair, which will eventually fade to the color of white pepper. Martin's face is long, pale and considered to be old-fashioned, a trait carried by all the Lynch-Gibbons.
The story begins with Martin having a discussion with his mistress, Georgie, a beautiful, well-educated young woman. Although the two profess to be in love it is clear that Martin will never leave his wife. Georgie does not press the issue...
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A Severed Head Study Guide
Iris Murdoch Biographies (6)
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