MURDOCH, Iris. The Sea, The Sea. London: Chatto & Windus, 1978.
8vo. Original sea green cloth; backstrip lettered in gilt; in the original unclipped dust-jacket (£5.50 net) with a striking front panel design from a painting by Hokusai; pp. [viii], 501, [iii]; a lovely copy, with a faint crease down the cloth spine, the jacket bright with small residual tape marks to both flaps; very good.
First edition of Iris Murdoch's Booker Prize winner. She had previously been nominated, but failed to scoop the prize, three times.
The Sea, The Sea was Murdoch's nineteenth novel, and takes its name from Xenophon's Anabasis. When the sight of the Black Sea from Mount Theches was spotted, and the roaming 10,000 Greeks fighting in Cyrus the Younger's failed march against the Persian Empire in 401 BC. realised they were saved from death, the shout of is said to have gone up: 'Thálatta! Thálatta!', or, 'The Sea! The Sea!'.
Martin Amis once said of Murdoch that: "Her world is ignited by belief. She believes in everything: true love, veridical visions, magic, monsters, pagan spirits. She doesn't tell you how the household cat is looking, or even feeling: she tells you what it is thinking."