What's Bred in the Bone

What's Bred in the Bone

Book - 1985
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Penguin Putnam
Francis Cornish was always good at keeping secrets. From the well-hidden family secret of his childhood to his mysterious encounters with a small-town embalmer, an expert art restorer, a Bavarian countess, and various masters of espionage, the events in Francis’s life were not always what they seemed.

In this wonderfully ingenious portrait of an art expert and collector of international renown, Robertson Davies has created a spellbinding tale of artistic triumph and heroic deceit. In this second book of the Cornish Trilogy, Davies spins a tale told in stylish, elegant prose, endowed with lavish portions of his wit and wisdom. 

"A deliciously readable story...An altogether remarkable creation, his most accomplished novel to date." --  The New York Times 

Baker & Taylor
Francis Cornish, an art expert born to a wealthy family in a small Ottawa Valley town, is a man of mystery to his nephew, Arthur, and to his disappointed biographer, Simon Darcourt

Publisher: New York : Viking, 1985.
Edition: 1st American ed.
ISBN: 9780670809165
Branch Call Number: DAV
Characteristics: 436 p. ; 22 cm.


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Apr 21, 2015

I’m sure I’ve mentioned before just how much I love this author. How he creates a story of improbable situations and makes it not only believable but ordinary seeming is fascinating.

This is the story of Francis Cornish, a man who seems to drift through life doing what is expected of him and yet extraordinary things happen to him. All the mysteries glimpses of his life that have been brought up in the first book of the trilogy are now laid bare for the reader and it makes for a stellar story.

Sep 05, 2013

While the second book in one of his trilogies, this was the first Davies book I read. Given to me by a friend, I had trouble getting into it, but was determined to finish it, simply because of the reputation of the author and the idea that I had to read it because it was him. At about the half way point, a light went on in my head and I got it. This book lead me to read everything else he wrote, and in fact opened up some other arts to me that I had previously not understood or had not taken the time to understand. It may or may not do that for others, but it changed my reading habits permanently.


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