Sunday, September 08, 2019

Fortnightly Book, September 8

William Robertson Davies had a lot of careers in his lifetime. He was an actor for a while in London (which is how he met his wife). He was an editor for a number of publications. He became part owner of a number of small media outlets. He helped found the Stratford Shakespearean Festival of Canada, and served on its board of governors. He wrote plays, essays, and novels. He taught literature at Trinity College at the University of Toronto. He was the first Master of Massey College. Of all the Canadians of his day, he was perhaps the one who most completely summed up the literary world.

The Darwins gave me an omnibus edition of Robertson Davies's humorous Salterton Trilogy: Tempest-Tost, Leaven of Malice, and A Mixture of Frailties, so this will be the next fortnightly book, although it's possible that the set will make for a three-week fortnight. All three novels take place in the fictional Canadian town of Salterton. Tempest-Tost is about the local theater group putting on a play, or trying to, in any case, as much as possible given their quirks. Leaven of Malice is a sort of mock-mystery involving a false engagement notice. And A Mixture of Frailties is about a will and testament of fiendish design.

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