2 (1):11-30 (2008
The novel begins as follows:"Dora Greenfield left her husband because she was afraid of him. She decided six months later to return to him for the same reason. The absent Paul, haunting her with letters and telephone bells and imagined footsteps on the stairs had begun to be the greater torment. Dora suffered from guilt, and with guilt came fear. She decided at last that the persecution of his presence was to be preferred to the persecution of his absence."Murdoch's novel The Bell is about Imber Court. It is a small Anglican religious community of lay people whose lives were transformed, not just by the arrival of a couple of dissimilar visitors, not just by the arrival of a new bell to be installed at Imber Abbey located beyond the lake, but more significantly by the discovery of a centuries-old bell the story of which is engulfed in a terrible legend.