Fifth Business Summary Davies

Fifth Business Summary Davies

  • Submitted By: DickieS
  • Date Submitted: 10/19/2008 9:37 AM
  • Category: English
  • Words: 2348
  • Page: 10
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Fifth Business

Robertson Davies:
- Born 1913, Thamesville ON, to a prominent family; died 1995
- Father was a senator, family owned Peterborough Examiner (newspaper)
- Went to UCC then Queen’s University
- PhD in English from Oxford, 1939 – Shakespeare’s boy actors
- Performed as an actor in London
o Old Vic theatre
o Recently reopened by Mirvishes
o Usually had minor roles
o No English accent – not respected as a Shakespearean actor
- Returned to Canada in 1940
- Editor of Saturday Night (prestigious magazine)
- Took over family business as editor
o Examiner became renowned for intellect, politics, culture; prestigious paper
o Hardly covered actual news
- Column: diary of Samuel Marchbanks – mostly fictional
o Cranky character, humourous feature
- 1950s: began publishing novels  the Salterton trilogy
o Salterton – fictional, based on Kingston
o Satire on upper0class, waspy university
- Hard to make a living as a Canadian novelist
o Many Canadian writers moved away or set novels in Canada but were indifferent to actual Canadian geography
o Very small audience in Canada
- Vincent Massey asked him to be dean of Massey College in 1960s
o Initiated traditions such as ghost stories – ghosts of Massey Hall
- Reputation: flamboyant, theatrical
- Tall, wore long beard, dressed in Edwardian clothing
- Spoke with somewhat British accent
- Often very formal
- Wrote several plays, early founder of Stratford festival
- Wrote Fifth Business in 1970
o One of the greatest Canadian novels ever written
 Part of Deptford trilogy
 Gained international reputation
- Wrote opera libretto – the Golden Ash
- Died in Toronto
- “The death of Davies was like the disappearance of a mountain range.” – Robert Fulford
- Not a very progressive person
- In his time, only 8% of Canadians went to university
- Elite circle, very prominent
- Captures Toronto and Canada of 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s
- “Quintessential wasp”; a man of his time

Chapter One:...

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