The Philosopher's Pupil, Paperback Book
4 out of 5 (2 ratings)


In the English town of Ennistone, hot springs bubble up from deep beneath the earth.

In these healing waters the townspeople seek health and regeneration, rightousness and ritual cleansing.

To this town steeped in ancient lore and subterranean inspiration the Philosopher returns.

He exerts an almost magical influence over a host of Ennistonians, and especially over George McCaffrey, the host of Ennistonians, and especially over George McCaffrey, the Philosopher's old pupil, a demonic man desperate for redemption.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Publishing
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Classic fiction (pre c 1945)
  • ISBN: 9780099283591

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Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.

Review by

Bought 30 Dec 1994Iris Murdoch is at the height of her powers in this wonderful portrait of Ennistone, the spa town that goes a bit mad every now and then. Full of linked characters and families (making it reminiscent of Middlemarch in my opinion) and with the excellent invisible narrator N, this is my favourite IM novel still, I think. I have re-read this one a number of times and remembered it well, wlthough I had events in a slightly different order.

Review by

John Robert Rozanov is a philosopher from the small town of Ennistone, an English town noted for its healing hot spring and spa. The McCaffrey family is connected in strange ways to the eccentric philosopher, and George is the obsessed former pupil of Rozanov. It’s a bit of a rambling tale, as the McCaffreys and Rozanov dance around their shared issues of love and family and admiration. As the somewhat omniscient narrator, N observes that “we are mostly narcissists, and only in a few, not always with felicitious results, is narcissism overcome (broken, crushed, annihilated, nothing less will serve) by religious discipline or psycho-analysis.”

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