Robertson Davies

The Cunning Man

“An amazing coup . . . a brilliant, never less than engaging work of fiction which is also a philosophical meditation on the business of living.”—Financial Times
When Father Hobbes mysteriously dies at the high alter on Good Friday, Dr. Jonathan Hullah—whose holistic work has earned him the label “Cunning Man” (for the wizard of folk tradition)—wants to know why. The physician-cum-diagnostician’s search for answers compels him to look back over his own long life. He conjures vivid memories of the dazzling, intellectual high-jinks and compassionate philosophies of himself and his circle, including flamboyant, mystical curate Charlie Iredale; cynical, quixotic professor Brocky Gilmartin; outrageous banker Darcy Dwyer; and jocular, muscular artist Pansy Todhunter. In compelling and hilarious scenes from the divine comedy of life, The Cunning Man reveals profound truths about being human.
“Wise, humane and consistently entertaining … Robertson Davies’s skill and curiosity are as agile as ever, and his store of incidental knowledge is a constant pleasure.”—The New York Times Book Review
“The sparkling history of [the] erudite and amusing Dr. Hullah, who knows the souls of his patients as well as he knows their bodies . . . never fails to enlighten and delight.”—The London Free Press
“Davies is a good companion. Settling into The Cunning Man is like taking a comfortable chair opposite a favorite uncle who has seen and done everything.”—Maclean’s
“Irresistible, unflaggingly vital. A wholehearted and sharp-minded celebration of the Great Theatre of Life.”—The Sunday Times
“A novel brimming with themes of music, poetry, beauty, philosophy, death and the deep recesses of the mind.”—The Observer
542 printed pages
Original publication
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