Robertson Davies

The Cunning Man
  • The Cunning Man

  • When Father Hobbes mysteriously dies at the high altar on Good Friday, Dr Jonathan Hullah - whose holistic ideas have earned him the soubriquet 'cunning man' - wants to know why. But it is only through looking back at his own long life that answers are forthcoming. He recalls the dazzling intellectual high jinks of his circle of friends, from the High Church homosexual Darcy Dwyer (an expert on the theory of sin) to the curious occurrence of the Coburg Social Parlour's Seventh Annual Bad Breath Contest. Compelling and hilarious, The Cunning Man is a profound exploration of what it means to be an actor in the divine comedy of life.

Robertson Davies, novelist, playwright, literary critic and essayist, was born in 1913 in Thamesville, Ontario. The Manticore was published in 1973, followed by 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.