"Davies introduces us to his alter ego . . . A humorous and insightful picture of postwar Canadian life as seen through the eyes of a delightful eccentric."-Library Journal
As editor and later publisher of the Peterborough Examiner, Robertson Davies published witty, curmudgeonly, mischievous, and fiercely individualistic columns under the name of his alter ego, Samuel Marchbanks. In 1985, Davies edited and selected from his alter ego's observations to bring together previous titles in the Marchbanks bibliography: The Diary (1947), The Table Talk (1949), and Samuel Marchbanks' Almanack (1967).
Marchbanks opines on politics, on his furnace, on theatre, on the taxman, on trains, on Christmas, on book-banners, on manners, indeed on everything under the sun. Not only this, but Davies's copious and quite delectable Notes are "calculated to remove all Difficulties caused by the passage of Time and to offer the Wisdom, not to speak of Whimsicality, of this astonishing man to the Modern Public, in the most convenient form."
"This writing of four decades ago is consistently incisive, insulting, funny, relevant and altogether interesting."-The New York Times
"Now this crank of the first order is on full display for the first time in America . . . To explain to his younger American readers such arcana as 'telegrams' and 'coal-burning furnaces,' Davies has added graceful and comic notes that rival the entertaining opinions of Marchbanks himself."-South Florida Sun-Sentinel
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.