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Davies, Robertson

Robertson Davies (William Robertson Davies) (dā´vĬs), 1913–95, Canadian writer and editor. After receiving a B.Litt. from Oxford (1938), he joined the Old Vic Theatre Company before returning to Canada (1940) as an editor. In 1963 he became the first master of Massey College, a graduate college of the Univ. of Toronto; he retired in 1981. During his long literary career he produced more than 30 works of fiction as well as plays, essays, and criticism. Among the most important themes explored in his densely plotted novels are the moral dimensions of life, the isolation of the human spirit, and humanity's growth from innocence to experience.

Davies's three novel trilogies deal with life in fictional Ontario villages. The Salterton Trilogy—Tempest-Tost (1951), Leaven of Malice (1954), and A Mixture of Frailties (1958)—is a satiric romance that explores Canadian life and culture. The Deptford Trilogy—Fifth Business (1970), The Manticore (1972), and World of Wonders (1975)—is a richly plotted study of three individuals' journeys to self-discovery that mingles humor, mystery, magic, grotesqueries, and the Jungian theory of archetypes. Later novels include his third trilogy, the Cornish—The Rebel Angels (1981), Bred in the Bone (1985), and The Lyre of Orpheus (1989), as well as The Cunning Man (1995).

Bibliography

See For Your Eye Alone: Letters, 1976–1996 (2001), ed. by J. S. Grant; biography by J. S. Grant (1978, 1994); studies by E. Buitenhuis (1972), P. A. Morley (1977), J. Mills (1984), S. Stone-Blackburn (1985), and M. Peterman (1986).

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Davies, Robertson

Davies, Robertson (1913–95) Canadian novelist, dramatist, and journalist. Davies is best known for The Deptford Trilogy (1970–75), a characteristic mixture of myth, satire and symbolism. Other works include The Salterton Trilogy (1951–58), and a number of plays, including A Jig for the Gypsy (1954). His non-fiction is collected in The Mirror of Nature (1983).

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