“Dog, aiee, dog” |16 Dogs in the fiction and children’s books of historical novelist Rosemary Sutcliff

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Rosemary Sutcliff  said to the Radio Times in 1977: “I like a child or a dog or an adult according to their merits. I am prone to like more dogs on a percentage basis”! Dogs also feature in many of her books. Katherine Langrish, fantasy novelist, wondered if “perhaps Rosemary wrote about dogs as a way of owning them …?”

In Dawn Wind finds Dog, a young war-hound, by moonlight on the ruins of a battlefield:

… it was something alive in the cold echoing emptiness of a dead world. It stood with one paw raised, looking at him, and Owain called, hoarsely, with stiff lips and aching throat: ‘Dog! Hai! Dog!’ … [It] came, slowly and uncertainly… once it stopped altogether; then it finished at the run and next instant was trembling against his legs. He was a young dog; the beautiful creamy hair of his breast-patch was stained and draggled, and his muzzle bloody in the moonlight… ‘Dog, aiee, dog, we are alone then. There’s no one else. We will go together, you and I.’

  • Brother Dusty-Feet: Hugh runs away from home to protect Argos.
  • The Eagle of the Ninth:  Cub is Esca’s tame wolf cub.
  • Outcast: Canog is a mistreated mongrel owned by  Beric, whose childhood dog was Gelert.
  • The Lantern Bearers: Artos’s dog Cabal. (See also Sword at Sunset)
  • Warrior Scarlet: Whitethroat; Fand the Beautiful.
  • The Bridge-Builders: Math, a Hibernian wolfhound.
  • Knight’s Fee: Joyeuse.
  • Dawn Wind: Dog, a survivor of Owain’s Last Stand.
  • Blood Feud: Brindle is a cattle dog.
  • Bonnie Dundee: Caspa.
  • The Shining Company: Gelert.
  • Sword Song: Bjarni murders a man for kicking Astrid, and Hugin follows him home from Dublin.
  • Sword at Sunset. Cabal. (See also The Lantern Bearers)

2 comments

    1. Have amended the list. Also now found a more comprehensive list at a Sutlcifff Wiki which is completely new to me. That lists also:
      Argos (BDF, TLB)
      Asa (SwS)
      Asal (WS)
      Astrid (SwS)
      Beauty (KF)
      Bobtail (WLID)
      Bran (O, TSR, TLB, KF)
      Branwen (DW)
      Brindle (BF)
      Bryn (O)
      Cabal* (TLB, SAS)
      Cabel (TSC)
      Cannaid (TSC)
      Canog (O)
      Caspar (BD)
      Cu (WS)
      Cub (EOTN)
      Dog (DW)
      Fand (WS, SFADQx2)
      Fang (DW)
      Fleet-foot (FD)
      Garm (TSR, KF, DW)
      Gelert (O, TSC)
      Gerland (KF)
      Grip (DW)
      Gwen (TSC)
      Hugin (SwS)
      Jaunty (WLID)
      Joyeuse (KF)
      Kea (WS, FD)
      Keri (O)
      Linnet (KF)
      Luath (O, KF, FW)
      Luffra (KF, FW)
      Margarita (EOTN, TLB, SAS)
      Math (TBB, KF)
      Mathonwy (KF)
      Matilda (KF)
      Oliver (BDF)
      Procyon (EOTN)
      Roland (BDF)
      Rollo (KF)
      Ship (KF)
      Swift-foot (WS)
      Skolawn (TMOTHL)
      Syrius (TF)
      Thuna (KF)
      White-Eye (KF)
      Whitefoot (WLID)
      Whitethroat (WS)
      Vig (SwS)
      Vigi (TSR)
      Wauleye (DW)

      Key:
      TQES=The Queen Elizabeth Story. TAH=The Armourer’s House. BDF=Brother Dusty-Feet. S=Simon. EOTN=The Eagle of the Ninth. O=Outcast. TSR=The Shield Ring.TSB=The Silver Branch. LIW=Lady in Waiting. WS=Warrior Scarlet. TROTWH=The Rider of the White Horse. TLB=The Lantern Bearers. TBB=The Bridge-Builders. KF=Knight’s Fee. DW=Dawn Wind. SAS=Sword at Sunset. TF=The Fugitives. ACOOL=A Circlet of Oak Leaves. TCD=The Chief’s Daughter. TFOA=The Flowers of Adonis. SITS=Swallows in the Spring. TWB=The Witch’s Brat. TTOTG=The Truce of the Games (A Crown of Wild Olive). TCB=The Capricorn Bracelet. TC=The Changeling. WLID=We Lived in Drumfyvie. BF=Blood Feud. SHMH=Sun Horse, Moon Horse. ShS=Shifting Sands. FD=Flowering Dagger. SFADQ=Song for a Dark Queen. FW=Frontier Wolf. EE=Eagle’s Egg. BD=Bonnie Dundee. FCT=Flame-Coloured Taffeta. B&S=Blood and Sand. TSC=The Shining Company. SwS=Sword Song.

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