What's Bred in the Bone

What's Bred in the Bone

by Robertson Davies
     
 

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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's life were not always what they seemed.

In this wonderfully ingenious portrait of an art expert and

Overview

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's life were not always what they seemed.

In this wonderfully ingenious portrait of an art expert and collector of international renown, Robertson Davies has created a spellbinding tale of artistic triumph and heroic deceit. It is a tale told in stylish, elegant prose, endowed with lavish portions of Davies's wit and wisdom.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
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

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780140097115
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
05/01/1987
Series:
Cornish Trilogy Series, #2
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
448
Sales rank:
841,255
Product dimensions:
5.17(w) x 7.78(h) x 1.17(d)

Meet the Author

Robertson Davies (1913-1995) had three successive careers during the time he became 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.

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