Davies, Robertson William

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English (1960-1981)

Department of English, University College (Literature) 1962-1980
Founding Master of Massey College 1963-1980

"Davies boarded at Upper Canada College in Toronto, then studied at Queen's University in Kingston before attending Balliol College in Oxford, U.K. His initial passion was for the theatre and he pursued life as an actor in London. In 1940 Davies married Brenda Matthews whom he met at Oxford. In the same year the couple returned to Canada where Davies took the position of literary editor of Saturday Night.

Robertson Davies received the Stephen Leacock Medal for humour in 1955, the Lorne Pierce Medal in 1961, the Governor General Award in 1972, as well as 23 honorary degrees. He was the first holder of the Massey Chair position at the University of Toronto in 1961. He co-founded the U of T’s Graduate Centre for the Study of Drama in 1966. Governor-General's Award for fiction (The Manticore).

He died in Orangeville, Ontario in 1995. CBC covered his funeral live, and featured elegies by Margaret Atwood and Timothy Findlay, among many others. His legacy to Canadian literature and culture can be seen the number of novels and works of fiction and non-fiction alike, as well as the number of scholars and intellectuals who interacted with while he was at the University of Toronto. "



   * The Salterton Trilogy
       o Tempest-Tost (1951)
       o Leaven of Malice (1954)
       o A Mixture of Frailties (1958)
 * The Deptford Trilogy
       o Fifth Business (1970)
       o The Manticore (1972)
       o World of Wonders (1975)
 * The Cornish Trilogy
       o The Rebel Angels (1981)
       o What's Bred in the Bone (1985)
       o The Lyre of Orpheus (1988)
 * The "Toronto Trilogy"
       o Murther and Walking Spirits (1991)
       o The Cunning Man (1994)


Fictional essays

   * The Diary of Samuel Marchbanks (1947)
 * The Table Talk of Samuel Marchbanks (1949)
 * Samuel Marchbanks' Almanack (1967)
 * The Papers of Samuel Marchbanks (1985)


   * Shakespeare's Boy Actors (1939) (as W. Robertson Davies)
 * Shakespeare for Young Players: A Junior Course (1942)
 * Renown at Stratford (1953) (with Tyrone Guthrie)
 * Twice Have the Trumpets Sounded (1954) (with Tyrone Guthrie)
 * Thrice the Brindled Cat Hath Mew'd (1955) (with Tyrone Guthrie)
 * A Voice From the Attic (1960)
 * A Feast of Stephen (1970)
 * Stephen Leacock (1970)
 * One Half of Robertson Davies (1977)
 * The Enthusiasms of Robertson Davies (1979) (edited by Judith Skelton Grant)
 * The Well-Tempered Critic (1981) (edited by Judith Skelton Grant)