The acclaimed playwright, novelist, and author of Fifth Business explores the performing arts in this witty and insightful essay collection.
Though best known for his award-winning fiction, Robertson Davies enjoyed a long and varied career as an actor, playwright, journalist and critic. Happy Alchemy collects an equally diverse range of Davies' writings-including speeches, articles, prologues to plays, a ghost story set to music, and even a scenario for a film. In this eclectic volume, Davies shares his many musings on music, theatre, opera, and more. These pieces, many of them published here for the first time, touch on topics from Greek tragedy to Scottish Folklore and from Lewis Carroll to Carl Jung.
Robertson Davies (1913-1995) was born and raised in Ontario, and was educated at a variety of schools, including Upper Canada College, Queen's University, and Balliol College, Oxford. He had three successive careers: as an actor with the Old Vic Company in England; as publisher of the Peterborough Examiner; and as university professor and first Master of Massey College at the University of Toronto, from which he retired in 1981 with the title of Master Emeritus.
He was one of Canada's most distinguished men of letters, with several volumes of plays and collections of essays, speeches, and belles lettres to his credit. As a novelist, he gained worldwide fame for his three trilogies: The Salterton Trilogy, The Deptford Trilogy, and The Cornish Trilogy, and for later novels Murther and Walking Spirits and The Cunning Man.
His career was marked by many honors: He was the first Canadian to be made an Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, he was a Companion of the Order of Canada, and he received honorary degrees from twenty-six American, Canadian, and British universities.