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A Celtic Temperament: Robertson Davies as Diarist
Robertson Davies, Jennifer Surridge, Ramsay DerryVersatile and prolific, Robertson Davies was an actor, journalist and newspaper publisher, playwright, essayist, founding master of Massey College at the University of Toronto, and one of Canada’s greatest novelists. He was also an obsessive, complex, and self-revealing diarist. His diaries, which he began as a teenager, grew to over 3 million words and are an astonishing literary legacy. This first published selection of his diaries spans 1959 to 1963, years in which Davies, in mid-life, experienced both daunting failure and unexpected success.

Born in Thamesville, Ontario, in 1913, he was educated at local schools, then Upper Canada College, Queen’s University and Oxford University. He worked in England at the famous Old Vic theatre as an actor and literary advisor before returning to Canada where he became the editor and publisher of the Peterborough Examiner, established himself as a prominent Canadian playwright, and published his first three novels now known as the Salterton Trilogy. By 1959, at the age of forty-five, Robertson Davies was already one of Canada’s leading literary figures. Even so the diaries show that he was frustrated by the limitations of his literary success, often exasperated with the distractions of his daily life and buffeted by his mental and emotional state. They also show that he enjoyed life, was deeply interested in the society he lived in, and in the people he encountered. More often than not he found comedy in the world around him and delighted in recording it. He kept not only a daily journal, but also more focused diaries such as his accounts of the Toronto and New York production of his play Love and Libel, when he worked closely with the great British director Tyrone Guthrie, and of the founding of Massey College, the brainchild of Vincent Massey. The descriptions of backstage and academic politics are invariably entertaining, but in his diaries Davies also reveals himself as intensely self-critical, frequently insecure, and with a highly changeable nature that he described as his “celtic temperament.” We also see him as a partner in an intensely happy and creative marriage, and as a man with an astonishing capacity for hard work. By the end of 1963 his life had taken a new direction. As master of Massey College, he finds himself a public figure, but he is increasingly preoccupied with a new novel he wants to write which he is calling Fifth Business.

The publication of A Celtic Temperament establishes Robertson Davies as one of the great diarists. In their range, variety, intimacy, and honesty his diaries present an extraordinarily rich portrait of the man and his times.
The Cornish Trilogy: The Rebel Angels; What's Bred in the Bone; The Lyre of Orpheus
Robertson DaviesWoven around the pursuits of the energetic spirits and erudite scholars of the University of St. John and the Holy Ghost, this dazzling trilogy of novels lures the reader into a world of mysticism, historical allusion, and gothic fantasy that could only be the invention of Canada's grand man of letters.
The Cunning Man
Robertson Davies
The Deptford Trilogy
Robertson Davies*****
Happy Alchemy: On the Pleasures of Music and the Theatre
Robertson Davies, Brenda DaviesThis autobiographical collection of pieces draws on Robertson Davies' life-long passion for the theatre, opera and music. It encompasses speeches and prologues to plays, a libretto for a children's opera, a suggestion for a film scenario and fragments from Davies' own diary.
High Spirits: A Collection of Ghost Stories
Robertson DaviesPresents an entertaining and witty collection of eighteen stories about ghosts, including such notable literary apparitions as Ibsen and Charles Dickens
The Lyre of Orpheus (Cornish Trilogy)
Robertson Davies*****
The Lyre of Orpheus (Cornish Trilogy)
Robertson Davies
The Merry Heart: Reflections On Reading, Writing, and the World of Books
Robertson DaviesRobertson Davies always wanted to call a book of his "The Merry Heart." Now the wish is fulfilled, and fittingly by a selection of his writings, vintage Davies, full of the shrewd relish for life that was his hallmark. Although we shall not see another Davies novel, we can all rejoice that there is another new book that is pure distilled Davies. His utterly distinctive voice resounds here from every line. As close to an autobiography as we can ever expect, this collection of reminiscences, speeches, book reviews, parodies, and essays tells us much about the writer and the man. The introductions to each of the twenty-four chapters add further biographical details, followed by tantalizing fragments from Davies' own unpublished diary. But the strength of the book lies in its stimulating contents. Every chapter is an education for the reader, as it provides the pleasure of browsing through Davies' richly stocked mind. Whether he is discussing art fakery, his schooldays, the differences between Canadians and Americans, Thackeray, Ibsen, "The Little Red Hen," or "Ulysses," this collection gathers his reflections on books, on writing, on reading, on his own writing, on other authors and much else, into a fascinating whole.
The Mirror of Nature
Robertson DaviesBook by Davies, Robertson
Murther and Walking Spirits
Robertson Davies
One Half of Robertson Davies
Robertson DaviesNEAR FINE in NEAR FINE jacket HARD COVER. 8vo-over 7¾"-9¾" tall. Dist soiling top page edges, corners lightly bumped in dj with light edge wear.
The Papers of Samuel Marchbanks
Robertson Davies
The Rebel Angels (Cornish Trilogy)
Robertson Davies*****
The Salterton Trilogy
Robertson Davies
A Voice from the Attic: Essays on the Art of Reading
Robertson DaviesOutlining the delights of reading, the author tells of what mass education has done to readers, to taste, to books and to culture. The book covers writers from various countries and old and recently-published books, both well-known and obscure. From the author of "What's Bred in the Bone".
What's Bred in the Bone (Cornish Trilogy)
Robertson Davies*****