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.”
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.