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A MIXTURE OF FRAILTIES by Robertson Davies


by Robertson Davies

Pub Date: Aug. 25th, 1958
ISBN: 0143054880
Publisher: Scribner

The town of Salterton, Canada (some may remember its Little Theatre comedy- Tempest-Tost- Rinehart-1952) again is the scene of considerable dismay after the death of imperious Mrs. Bridgetower, whose will disinherits her only son Solly (unless a male heir is to follow) and leaves her estate toward the advancement of a career in the arts. Monica Gall, a young girl, and the radio voice for a "back-street religion"- the Thirteenth Apostle Tabernacle, is the only candidate who can be persuaded to accept the scholarship, and while she has a pleasant talent, she has lived in a cultural vacuum ("The First Violin"; "Danse Micawber"). Monica is sent to London and her days are lonely, the weeks are long, but she proves teachable and after the first two years of technical training, she is given over to Giles Revelstoke, a young composer and a rake, so that her musical experience be broadened. Giles does much to extend her range- emotionally- but their affair ends with a bitter blow- up, his death (for which she is more than a little responsible)- and she returns to Canada, the last lesson learned, that the career which has been imposed on her will also be a lifelong claim.... Something of a virtuoso performance, this relies more on its wit than its warmth, but the musicianship is very knowledgeable and the fingerwork light.