Born in Thamesville, Ontario, a student at Queen’s University in Kingston in the 1930’s, and editor and later publisher of the Peterborough Examiner from the 1940s to the mid-1960s, playwright, essayist, critic, professor, and novelist Robertson Davies (1913-1995) was one of Canada’s pre-eminent literary voices for more than a half-century.
Davies, with his generous beard and donnish manner, was the very epitome of the "man of letters," a term he abhorred. Best known for his Deptford Trilogy of novels (Fifth Business, The Manticore, World of Wonders), he also wrote two other trilogies (Salterton and Cornish) and was at work on the third volume of another trilogy (Toronto) when he died. With a life as rich in character and colour as that found in his fiction and essays, Davies had a great fondness for magic and myth, both of which are found in abundance in his work, along with a prodigious streak of wry humour.
Nicholas Maes teaches classics at the University of Waterloo and is also a high-school history teacher. He wrote Locksmith and Dead Man's Float, and has published several short stories and reviews in journals, including The Fiddlehead, Books in Canada, and The Dalhousie Review. Originally from Montreal, he now lives in Toronto.
Nicholas Maes, a high school history teacher and university lecturer in classics, has produced a balanced biography of Robertson Davies...a good introduction to the man and his work.
...an honest portrait that shows how Davies family and early years shaped his writing.