'You are my Australia': Brian Medlin's contribution to Iris Murdoch’s concept of Australia in The Green Knight
Dooley, Gillian Mary
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Australian radical and philosopher Brian Medlin met Iris Murdoch at Oxford in the early 1960s, and the correspondence between them, now held at Flinders University in South Australia, covers a period of more than twenty years. In his letters he regaled her with Australian jokes, travel stories and anecdotes, and answered her many questions about Australian flora and fauna, and language. While she was writing The Green Knight she was particularly keen to quiz him about the Australian vernacular to help her with the character of the publican Kenneth Rathbone. This paper traces the evolution of Murdoch’s concept of Australia from An Unofficial Rose to Jackson’s Dilemma, and in particular the way her portrayal of Australia in The Green Knight was influenced by her friendship with Medlin.