A Mixture of Frailties

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Penguin Books, 1980 - Fiction - 379 pages
4 Reviews
A literary classic from one of Canada's greatest storytellers, A Mixture of Frailties is the vivid and moving conclusion to the Salterton Trilogy.

A Mixture of Frailties is Robertson Davies's first extended engagement with one of the great neuroses of Canadian culture: the former colony's artistic relationship with Europe, and particularly with Britain.
Davies begins his story with the funeral of Louisa Bridgetower. The substantial income from her estate is to be used to send an unmarried young woman to Europe to pursue an education in the arts. Mrs. Bridgetower's executors end up selecting Monica Gall, an almost entirely unschooled singer whose sole experience comes from performing with the Heart and Hope Gospel Quartet, a rough outfit sponsored by a small fundamentalist group. Monica soon finds herself in England, a pupil of some of Britain's most remarkable teachers and composers, and she gradually blossoms from a Canadian rube into a cosmopolitan soprano with a unique--and tragicomic--career.
A Mixture of Frailties is so much more than the story of Monica Gall's life in London and her education as a singer. It is an account of her education as a human being. The result is a vivid, comic, and frequently moving novel.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - AJBraithwaite - LibraryThing

Enjoyed this book, though not as much as Leaven of Malice. I never felt entirely sympathetic towards Monica (what on earth did she see in Giles Revelstoke?) and would have liked to have spent more ... Read full review

A MIXTURE OF FRAILTIES

User Review  - Kirkus

The town of Salterton, Canada (some may remember its Little Theatre comedy- Tempest-Tost- Rinehart-1952) again is the scene of considerable dismay after the death of imperious Mrs. Bridgetower, whose ... Read full review

Contents

Section 1
1
Section 2
5
Section 3
26
Copyright

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About the author (1980)

William Robertson Davies was born in Thamesville, Ontario in 1913. He taught English at the University of Toronto and was an actor, journalist, and newspaper editor before winning acclaim as a novelist with Tempest-Tost, the first of his Salterton trilogy. His most famous trilogy, The Deptford Trilogy--Fifth Business, The Manticore, and World of Wonders--develops the earlier Salterton novels. The locale is a fictitious Ontario city that prizes its English tradition, including the Anglican Church and the genealogy of the old families. Robertson's novels have been translated into approximately 20 languages. His masterful story-telling encompasses such issues as evil, love, fear, tradition, and magic as he brings his characters to life with wisdom and humor. Robertson Davies died in 1995.

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