Iris Murdoch’s latest novel, The Message to the Planet, (October 1989)1 is related to the line of development traced in this study in an oblique but crucially relevant manner. Thus far, goodness, despite the forces arrayed against it, has carried the sense of an inviolable presence; however peripheral, it has had a centrality, an authorial authority; it has been clearly recognisable. Now, however, with this most recent novel, all the pieces are up in the air again as Murdoch concentrates on the connection between the ordinary world and — for want of a better word — the Christ-figure. Marcus Vallar, the pivotal figure of the novel, is not easily recognisable as such to the reader who sees Christ through the mist of Christianity. It is as if Murdoch has come to the end of what may be said about the mystery of simple goodness and now turns her attention to the separation and apartness of the extraordinary, ‘holy’ individual.