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Lyre of Orpheus (Cornish Trilogy)
on August 22, 2010
This book was purchased as a replacement for one lost by me from a little library in New Brunswick Canada.
This 1988 novel is last of Davies "Cornish Trilogy." The first is "Rebel Angels", 1981, and second "What's Bred in the Bone."(1985) In the story, the executors of the will of Francis Cornish (hero of "What's Bred in the Bone) are now the heads of the "Cornish Foundation." Brilliant Robertson Davies in this work, has the executors decide to stage an unfinished opera by E.T.A. Hoffman, (at Stratford, Ontario.) They hire a young composer to complete the opera. Dark humor figures as the ghost of Hoffman is part of the effort. Production of the opera is a structural element that parallels the story.
Davies is probably best known for his "Fifth Business" part of the Depford Trilogy", He has an elegant, voice reminiscent of Evelyn Waugh. It is a layered, complex read, requiring focus, and time. His work is enchanting.