A few friends meet on a midsummer night, the eve of a wedding they have long been working for. It will unite two people they all love and two English country houses that have stood near each other but at sword-point for centuries. After her and toasts to the morrow they wander out in pairs into the starlit garden of one of the houses, the Quaker house, Penndean, full of admiration for each other. They are creating the future like gods, extending their ‘Being’. But Lord, what fools these mortals be!
Iris Murdoch once said that what every writer is really trying to do is to write as well as Shakespeare, and it is Shakespeare who informs this, her twenty-fifth novel, throughout. The remorse in which most of her characters seem to swim like treacle is described several times with reference