About this title:
A Mixture of Frailties, the third volume of Robertson Davies Salterton Trilogy, is his first extended engagement with one of the great neuroses of Canadian culture: Canada's artistic relationship to Europe, and particularly to Britain.
About the Author:
Davies begins his story with the funeral of Louisa Bridgetower, the Salterton matron whose imposing presence ranges throughout the earlier volumes of the ''Salterton'' Trilogy. 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 to a cosmopolitan soprano with a unique - and tragicomic - career.
''It's a muddle'', thought Monica. ''A muddle and I can't get it straight. I wish I knew what I should do. I wish I even knew what I want to do...I want to go on in the life that has somehow or other found me and claimed me. And I want so terribly to be happy. Oh god, don't let me slip under the surface of all the heavy-hearted dullness that seems to claim so many people....''
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, and the result is an absorbing novel, comic in the true sense, vivid and frequently moving.
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.
A mother posthumously stifles her son but grants a stranger spectacular opportunity. Third in a trilogy, yet independently satisfying, this presentation encourages listeners to seek more of Davies's beguiling prose. Will the audience pursue other narrations by Frederick Davidson? Fate, and what individuals do with it or in spite of it, are prevalent themes in Davies's writing, and a voice so incessantly rich and erudite as Davidson's poses an apropos question: Does Mr. Davidson have to work harder to overcome the gift of his deep, mellifluous tones? He reads expressively as various characters, yet his golden voice never actually seems to modulate. However, the words somehow outshine the voice delivering them, as they should. What power, yet whose: Davidson's or Davies's? D.J. (c)AudioFile, Portland, Maine
"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.