Because her dogs are so wonderful, I feel the need of one today. Really, I should be reading Under the Net, in that case, but The Sandcastle has, at least, a late dog, Liffey, who is mentioned near the start, as Mor and Nan are sharing, in a desultory way, a cold lunch (and the temperature refers both to the unappetizing meal and the atmosphere in which it is being eaten):
"You remember how poor Liffey used to hate this hot weather," said Mor.How much information is conveyed by that exchange!
Liffey had been their dog, a golden retriever, who was killed two years ago on the main road. The animal had formed the bond between Mor and Nan which their children had been unable to form. Half unconsciously, whenever Mor wanted to placate his wife he said something about Liffey.
Nan's face at once grew gentler. "Poor thing!" she said.
I have never much liked this cover, which dates from the late 60s/early 70s, the later Penguin covers are much nicer. I'd much rather have either of these, the later Penguin or the rather elegant Vintage one:
I think the Vintage covers are wonderful, and wish I were starting my collection with them, especially the cover for Under the Net, which I fell in love with the other day. Do have a look and see if you agree with me.
* I voted for The Nice and the Good, another lovely Vintage cover and, again, much better than my old Penguin one. I grew up at the wrong time evidently.