CanLit Challenge Book #5: The Rebel Angels by Robertson Davies
Filed under: CanLit Challenge — Ibis at 8:11 pm on Monday, December 5, 2005

Book 5, The Rebel Angels (Book I of the Cornish Trilogy) (1981) – Robertson Davies
From the back cover:
“Gypsies, defrocked monks, mad professors, and wealthy eccentrics — a remarkable cast peoples Robertson Davies’ brilliant spectacle of theft, perjury, murder, scholarship, and love at a modern university. Only Mr. Davies, author of Fifth Business, The Manticore, and World of Wonders, could have woven together their destinies with such wit, humour — and wisdom.”

Other useful links:
the Wikipedia article on Robertson Davies
the Wikipedia article on The Rebel Angels
the Wikipedia article on Trinity College
the Wikipedia article on Rabelais

My Thoughts:
Though I read this years ago, I’m choosing it for my next CanLit book since I eventually want to read The Lyre of Orpheus and figure I should highlight the two previous novels in the trilogy first.

Having resided at St. Hilda’s (the women’s res of Trinity college–thinly disguised as Spook in Rebel Angels), I have a special affection for this book.

I think I liked this better the first time I read it, though I did enjoy it this time too. I’m happy with my 9 rating. I sometimes felt that it dragged a little (the two Guest Night dinners especially). I know a lot more about the erudite references this time around even if I haven’t yet read Rabelais or Paracelsus (they’re both on Mt TBR, btw). I really liked parts of it too–the whole root & crown metaphor, the Sophia bits (it would have been nice to have more of that & less of Ozy Froats ;-)), and of course all the wonderful characters: Mamusia, Maria, slimy Parlabane, Darcourt, Hollier and insufferable McVarish.

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