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What's Bred in the Bone
Cover of What's Bred in the Bone
What's Bred in the Bone
The Cornish Trilogy, Book 2
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Francis Cornish was always good at keeping secrets. From the well-hidden family secret of his childhood to his mysterious encounters with a small-town embalmer, an expert art restorer, a Bavarian countess, and various masters of espionage, the events in Francis' life were not always what they seemed.

This wonderfully ingenious portrait of an art expert and collector of international renown is told in stylish, elegant prose and endowed with lavish portions of Davies' wit and wisdom.

Francis Cornish was always good at keeping secrets. From the well-hidden family secret of his childhood to his mysterious encounters with a small-town embalmer, an expert art restorer, a Bavarian countess, and various masters of espionage, the events in Francis' life were not always what they seemed.

This wonderfully ingenious portrait of an art expert and collector of international renown is told in stylish, elegant prose and endowed with lavish portions of Davies' wit and wisdom.

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About the Author-
  • Robertson Davies (1913–1995) was an internationally acclaimed author, actor, publisher, and, finally, professor at the University of Toronto. The author of twelve novels and several volumes of essays and plays, he was the first Canadian to be inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    November 1, 1985
    Known to discerning readers for his beguiling Deptford Trilogy and the more recent Rebel Angels, Canadian author Davies has written another irresistible novel. His story of the secret life of Francis Cornish, full of ironic twists and surprises, has the added enticement of a look inside the rarefied world of art experts and restorers. There is even a hint of the thriller genre, since Cornish joins British Intelligence to participate in an international scheme to defraud the Nazis of Old Masters. But this is primarily a character study, built around the theme: "what's bred in the bone comes out in the flesh,'' with the corollary that suffering endured when one is young builds character for later achievements. Born into an eccentric, wealthy Canadian family in a backwoods town, enduring a lonely and suffocatingly pious upbringing, Cornish eventually becomes a respected art appraiser and collector, at the sacrifice of his considerable talent as a painter. In addition to the tantalizing story of how this comes about, related with elements of intrigue and mystery, Davies delivers a wickedly funny, trenchant dissection of provincial society and some witty observations about religion and art. The book is seamlessly constructed, interpolating some marvelous set pieces of comic intensity, and the reader hurtles through the taut, compelling narrative wishing it would never end. 25,000 first printing; BOMC alternate. Foreign rights: Curtis Brown. November

  • AudioFile Magazine Frederick Davidson performs this intelligent and entertaining novel about the life of Francis Cornish as told by the guardian spirit who controls his fate. Cornish is a secretive man of extraordinary artistic talent, who suffers with a lonely heart. The attentive listener is aided by Davidson's portrayal of this spirit's slightly detached, but affectionate and bemused, tone towards Cornish, as well as by Davidson's reasonable pace and careful pronunciation. Seasoned with a pleasant British dialect, Davidson's cultivated tone fits well Davies's elegant writing style. In addition, Davidson employs a rhythmic rising and falling of pitch, which is surprisingly effective in entertaining and relaxing the listener. His emphases are intelligently chosen, and his characterizations of women are especially good. P.W. (c)AudioFile, Portland, Maine
  • Library Journal "Extraordinary….a gripping story of artistic triumph and heroic deceit, told with deep insight into the worlds of art and international espionage. This work is tailormade for the eloquence of narrator Frederick Davidson."
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What's Bred in the Bone
What's Bred in the Bone
The Cornish Trilogy, Book 2
Robertson Davies
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