The Manticore is a fascinating exploration, by an exquisite stylist, of those regions beyond reason where monsters live. David Staunton, the son of Percy Boyd Staunton, travels to Switzerland. Traumatized by his father’s death and plagued by a lifetime of unhappiness, David undergoes Jungian analysis and repeatedly encounters a manticore—a monster with the head of a man, the body of lion, and the tail of a scorpion.
The Manticore is the second novel in the critically acclaimed Deptford Trilogy, which also includes Fifth Business and World of Wonders.
About the author
Robertson Davies, novelist, playwright, literary critic and essayist, was born in 1913 in Thamesville, Ontario. He was educated at Queen's University, Toronto, and Balliol College, Oxford. Whilst at Oxford he became interested in the theatre and from 1938 until 1940 he was a teacher and actor at the Old Vic in London. He subsequently wrote a number of plays. In 1940 he returned to Canada, where he was literary editor of Saturday Night, an arts, politics and current affairs journal, until 1942, when he became editor and later publisher of the Peterborough Examiner. Several of his books, including The Diary of Samuel Marchbanks and The Table Talk of Samuel Marchbanks, had their origins in an editorial column. In 1962 he was appointed Professor of English at the University of Toronto, and in 1963 was appointed the first Master of the University's Massey College. He retired in 1981, but remained Master Emeritus and Professor Emeritus. He held honorary doctorates from twenty-six universities in the UK, the USA and Canada, and he received numerous awards for his work, including the Governor-General's Award for The Manticore in 1973. It is as a writer of fiction that Robertson Davies achieved international recognition, with such books as The Salterton Trilogy (Tempest-Tost, Leaven Of Malice, winner of the Leacock Award for Humour, and A Mixture Of Frailties); The Deptford Trilogy (Fifth Business, The Manticore and World Of Wonders); The Cornish Trilogy (The Rebel Angels, What's Bred in the Bone, shortlisted for the 1986 Booker Prize, and The Lyre of Orpheus); Murther & Walking Spirits; and The Cunning Man. His other work includes One Half of Robertson Davies, The Enthusiasms of Robertson Davies, Robertson Davies: The Well-Tempered Critic, The Papers of Samuel Marchbanks, High Spirits, A Voice From The Attic and The Merry Heart, a posthumous collection of autobiography, lectures and essays. Many of his books are published by Penguin.
Robertson Davies died in December 1995. Malcolm Bradbury described him as 'one of the great modern novelists', and in its obituary The Times wrote: 'Davies encompassed all the great elements of life...His novels combined deep seriousness and psychological inquiry with fantasy and exuberant mirth.'
“Davies’s Deptford Trilogy is one of the splendid literary enterprises of this decade.” - Newsweek
“Lucid, concise, beautifully phrased, rich in drama and in relentless penetration of character, this novel is a synthesis of narrative and idea that never ceases to be a superior entertainment as well.” - Library Journal
“Davies shows once again … that even small-town Canadians can be intriguing.” - Toronto Star
“Davies’s books will be recognized with the very best works of the twentieth century.” - The New York Times Book Review
"Davies is one of the great modern novelists.” - Malcolm Bradbury, The Sunday Times (London)
“Davies is a novelist whose books are thick and rich with humor, character and incident. They are plotted with skill and much flamboyance.” - The Observer (London)
“A mature and wise writer.” - Anthony Burgess, The Sunday Times (London)
“Davies is a thoughtful, tasteful mediator in human affairs.” - Kirkus Reviews