Iris Murdoch The Bell

(4.5 stars; 5 reviews)

Classic Serial: The Bell From - Sun 7th Nov 1999, 15:00 on BBC Radio 4 FM By Iris Murdoch, dramatised in three parts by Michael Bakewell. Music Elizabeth Parker.   Producer Catherine Bailey   Director Jane Morgan.  1: Sex and religion come into conflict in this story of a lay community which is seriously disturbed by the arrival of an errant wife. Dora Greenfield: Cathryn Bradshaw NoelSpens: Charlie Simpson Paul Greenfield: Nicholas Farrell James Tayper Pace: Philip Voss TobyGashe: Jamie Bamber Nick Fawley: Nicholas Boulton Mrs Mark: Jane Booker Michael Meade: Crispin Redman Mark Strafford: Matthew Morgan Sister Ursula: Marian Diamond Catherine Fawley: Emma Gregory 2: A new bell is due to arrive at the Abbey, but Dora is haunted by the story of the old bell and of the death that it foretold. Michael Meade: Crispin Redman Dora Greenfield: Cathryn Bradshaw Paul Greenfield: Nicholas Farrell Peter Topglass: Struan Rodger TobyGashe: Jamie Bamber James Tayper Pace: Philip Voss Catherine Fawley: Emma Gregory Nick Fawley: Nicholas Boutton Mrs Mark: Jane Booker The Irish nun: Kate Binchy 3: Raising the bell from the lake required almost supernatural strength, and Dora is determined to continue playing the witch in the holy community of Imber.  Michael Meade: Crispin Redman Paul Greenfield: Nicholas Farrell Nick Fawley: Nicholas Boulton James Tayper Pace: Philip Voss Mrs Mark: Jane Booker The Abbess: Janet Suzman Dora Greenfield: Cathryn Bradshaw Noel Spens: Charlie Simpson The Bishop: Norman Rodway Catherine Fawley: Emma Gregory TobyGashe: Jamie Bamber Mark Strafford: Matthew Morgan A lay community of thoroughly mixed-up people is encamped outside Imber Abbey, home of an enclosed order of nuns. A new bell, legendary symbol of religion and magic, is rediscovered. Dora Greenfield, erring wife, returns to her husband. Michael Mead, leader of the community, is confronted by Nick Fawley, with whom he had disastrous homosexual relations, while the wise old Abbess watches and prays and exercises discreet authority. And everyone, or almost everyone, hopes to be saved, whatever that may mean....Iris Murdoch's funny and sad novel has themes of religion, the fight between good and evil, and the terrible accidents of human frailty.  The Bell is an early philosophical novel by Iris Murdoch, the Irish academic and Oxford professor of Philosophy, who also wrote in total 26 novels. This is her fourth novel, first published in 1958. The first of her novels to be shot through with ethical considerations, The Bell remains the one novel in her entire output where the moral conundrums are the most explicit. Until now, the characters in Iris Murdoch's novels had been concerned with having a good life rather than  living one; a subtle difference perhaps, but a profound one.

This recording is part of the Old Time Radio collection.


Plot summary

(0 stars)

The overall plot summary as given is for The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco. The chapter summaries seem OK. Might need to fix that

Thank you!

(0 stars)

I find that material at the BBC Genome...OOPS! Much appreciated. W

(5 stars)

Amazing 👏Murdoch book so beautifully told by the actors that it came alive.