A Mixture of Frailties

A Mixture of Frailties , the third volume of Robertson Davies Salterton Trilogy, is his first extended engagement with one of the great neuroses of Canadian culture Canada s artistic relationship to Europe, and particularly to Britain Davies begins his story with the funeral of Louisa Bridgetower, the Salterton matron whose imposing presence ranges throughout the earl A Mixture of Frailties , the third volume of Robertson Davies Salterton Trilogy, is his first extended engagement with one of the great neuroses of Canadian culture Canada s artistic relationship to Europe, and particularly to Britain Davies begins his story with the funeral of Louisa Bridgetower, the Salterton matron whose imposing presence ranges throughout the earlier volumes of the Salterton Trilogy The substantial income from her estate is to be used to send an unmarried young woman to Europe to pursue an education in the arts Mrs Bridgetower s executors end up selecting Monica Gall, an almost entirely unschooled singer whose sole experience comes from performing with the Heart and Hope Gospel Quartet, a rough outfit sponsored by a small fundamentalist group Monica soon finds herself in England, a pupil of some of Britain s most remarkable teachers and composers, and she gradually blossoms from a Canadian rube to a cosmopolitan soprano with a unique and tragicomic career.
A Mixture of Frailties A Mixture of Frailties the third volume of Robertson Davies Salterton Trilogy is his first extended engagement with one of the great neuroses of Canadian culture Canada s artistic relationship to E

  • Title: A Mixture of Frailties
  • Author: Robertson Davies
  • ISBN: 9780140054323
  • Page: 135
  • Format: Paperback
  • 1 thought on “A Mixture of Frailties”

    1. Every Davies book I've read so far has been really enjoyable, but I found this one truly exceptional. His later novels are more technically skilled - the Deptford trilogy taken as whole contains more detailed characters and more insight into the subjectivity and serendipity of personal experience - but of his individual works that I've read, this one presents Davies' personal philosophy of "live life to the fullest" in the most engaging way. I realize that to a reader in 2016, "the Canadian infe [...]

    2. Aunque los libros de la Trilogía de Salterton pueden leerse de manera independiente, es mejor seguir el orden en el que fueron escritos ('A merced de la tempestad', 'Levadura de malicia' y 'Una mezcla de flaquezas') para poder disfrutarlos plenamente.’Una mezcla de flaquezas’, la tercera novela de la trilogía, tiene como tema principal el mundo del teatro musical y la lírica, cerrando de esta manera el círculo que se inicio en ‘A merced de la tempestad’, donde la trama giraba en torn [...]

    3. Oh my gosh, so good! Totally my new favorite Robertson Davies book, and that's saying something, since of the six other books of his I've read so far, four of them have beenjust, absolutely, unreservedly fantastic. To me, anyway. This one starts out with Solly and Veronica sorting out the late Mrs. Bridgetower's funeral arrangements--after years and years spent under his mother's thumb, there's finally some hope that Solly and his wife will have the freedom to begin to make a life of their own. [...]

    4. To call this the third volume of the "Salterton Trilogy" is misleading, and anyone reading Davies' work chronologically might be somewhat shocked at the shift from the two previous volumes, Tempest-Tost and Leaven of Malice.This is instead a transitional work, setting up the much darker but much deeper themes that will come to bear in the superior "Deptford Trilogy."Certainly, the action of this book kicks off in Salterton -- among familiar characters -- and quickly sets itself up to be a Canadi [...]

    5. Robertson Davies is rapidly becoming one of my favourite authors. His writing style is that kind of writing where every sentence reads like an effortlessly crafted jewel, which probably means Davies thought long and hard about each of them. Mixture of Frailties is no exception, it is exquisitely written and it is full of a wonderful wry and very understated humour. It follows a young Canadian woman from a small insular Ontario town who is sent, by a trust fund established through the provisions [...]

    6. (Dug review out of the depths of LiveJournal.)It is very unfortunate that all of Monica's work and talents get boiled down to a question of marriage. A very bad end to the trilogy.Still:All these people in these islands. They're all so self-satisfied. You have to hate them, or you have to pull yourself up even with them. I know all about it. When I'm at home I'm not terrifically American, but over here I have to act a part, or disappear.---One's personal beliefs are peripheral, really, if one is [...]

    7. The characters were the best part of this book - vivid, intriguing and so real. The story was interesting enough, and it was a fun read, and very engaging. But as a whole, this fell short for me. Maybe I missed the point, or maybe it just didn't go where I thought it would. Four stars for how really amazing the characters are and for an interesting read, and some memorable, impactful scenes.

    8. Five stars for style, story, characterization and sustained interest, despite the ambiguous ending (which also has its upside).

    9. Last in the Salterton Trilogy.Each book in the Salterton trilogy is quite different. The first, Tempest-Tost, uses a small town amateur theater production to introduce us to Salterton and some of its inhabitants, with Davies dry wit illuminating the characters. the second, Leaven of Malice, it an out-and-out comedy centered around an erroneous engagement announcement in the local newspaper involving the scions of two warring families. While Leaven of Malice introduces new characters, most notabl [...]

    10. The third in Davies' trilogy. Mrs. Hightower has died, after making the lives of her son and daughter-in-law miserable for six months. She was a wealthy woman who invested well and she understood how to get at people. In her will she left her estate to her son (with some separate bequests) on the condition that and not until her daughter-in-law bore a son. (I have a feeling that this will could most certainly have been contested but then we wouldn't have had a book)In the meantime the couple wil [...]

    11. After saying that it's one of his top best about half of Davies' books, this is finally and clearly my actual favorite of his. With his natural way of casual humor, his clever observations of the human condition and complete mastery of prose he time and time again easily drew a multitude of philosophical musings as well as hearty chuckles from this enthusiastic reader.The immense depth and believability of his characters are the living proof (they certainly feel alive!) that Robertson Davies com [...]

    12. A Mixture of Frailties opens at the funeral of Mrs. Bridgetower. During the reading of her will, her son, best friend and others are told they are to form a committee to find a young women to fund that will get an education in the arts with the money Mrs Bridgetower has left behind. Her son with get just about nothing but the responsibility to maintain her home as the property of the trust. Once a young lady is found, Monica Gall, it switches over to her narrative. Monica is a singer and is sent [...]

    13. This is a re-read, or at least a partial re-read, because I'd never worked through the whole "Salterton Trilogy" before. And I must confess that I stretched out the consumption of this last book as long as I could, because I didn't want to have to part with the flavor of Davies' work.This final chapter of the trilogy begins with the death of a woman who has figured importantly in the first two, and we quickly see that this particular character has been as cruel in death as she was in life: she h [...]

    14. 3,5.Me duele ponerle una nota tan mediocre. Si fuera justo, se merece 4 estrellas, porque Davies es un buenísimo escritor, pero después de la maravilla que fue "Levadura de malicia", este me ha sabido a nada.Tengo muy claro que ha faltado. Por un lado, Salterton y sus entrañables habitantes, que son el alma de los otros dos libros de la trilogía, están muy poco presentes en este, y casi parecen meros cameos como excusa para conectar el libro con los dos anteriores. Y si los personajes de Sa [...]

    15. This Trollope-ian setting let loose through a preposterous will is not as heavy as great modern literature normally is thought to be. Still the old-fashioned elements provide it with enough layers of characterization. Monica Gall, a drudge and a member of a quartet doing corny tunes, is the benefactor of the whimsical will of Mrs. Bridgetower. She is transplanted to England to learn music under the tutelage of greatness. In her quest to acquire sophistication in all forms, Monica falls in love w [...]

    16. As a Canadian I am somewhat ashamed to admit that in my twilight years I have finally discovered the excellent writings of Robertson Davies. This is my first venture, and it wont be my last, into his works however I wish I had started at the beginning of “The Salterton Trilogy” not the end, but I look forward to going back to the start with my next excursion. This is a fun read and by the middle I was surprised by the layers the characters had developed in the progress of the novel. What sta [...]

    17. Monica Gall, a raw singing talent is sent to England from Salterton, Ontario to study under Sir Benedict Domdaniel, thanks to the will of Louisa Bridgetower, whose bequest comdemns Solly and Veronica to be housekeepers in their own home until they provide a son and heir, when in the meantime the income is funding Louisa's grand project to support the parochial arts by learning from Old World Excellence. In Robertson's hands this Pygmalion tale is engaging, entertaining and revealing about the re [...]

    18. I've truly enjoyed every book I've read by Robertson Davies, and this one was no exception. He's warm, funny, and compassionate toward his characters. He does quite a good job writing women. And his plots are also great, filled with fortunes made, love pursued, and art created. Compare this to American male authors writing in the 1950s (my least favorite type of novel). Is the simple fact of Davies being Canadian what kept him from nihilism, aimlessness, and chauvinism? Whatever the reason, I wi [...]

    19. Love love love this book. As a once young, naive opera student with promising talent but a weak spot for a difficult-yet-brilliant composing student, I found Davies' penetrating insight and characterization of the blossoming of this young woman to be not only right on point, but deeply rewarding, paralleling aspects of my own journey. Davies' understanding of musical/creative/artistic temperaments and realities is quite profound and true. The book is laced, as his work always his, with hearty do [...]

    20. A mixture of frailties, and leaven of malice, the other book in the salterton trilogy I have read, both give me a warm feeling. They are both humorous, cozy, centering around the interesting and petty, endearing intrigues and day to day happenings of small town salteron in Canada. They have a warm feeling: the feeling of being garrisoned in by the Canadian winter, in a living room, with a fire, and people long known, their quirks and eccentricities hilarious, like te old women who get tipsy, hi [...]

    21. Disappointing. The beginning has a slightly farcical, Wodehousian feel to itd then the story veers away from Salterton and bogs down in Europe, where I thought there was far too much detail about the career advancement of the protagonist. I read the single-volume trilogy, and this, the third book, clocks in at nearly, and for me unnecessarily, 200 pages longer than the other two. I felt as if Davies had started this novel with one idea and changed his mind midway, without reconciling very differ [...]

    22. Una delicia de novela, como nos tiene acostumbrados Davies. En esta ocasión, sin un gran esfuerzo por nuestra parte, el autor nos adentra en el mundo de la educación de una cantante, una chica sin cultura es entrenada para interpretar grandes obras artísticas, para lo cual debe aprender y vivir experiencias que le permitan representar los grandes temas. Y todo ello regado con el fino sentido del humor de don Robertson El final se me antoja un poco burlesco, sinceramente, pero no nos deja duda [...]

    23. I really enjoyed this book -- probably my favourite in the Salterton trilogy.But I was kind of disappointed by the ending. I just didn't find it 100% believable or, rather, I found that the actions of Monica, and later Sir Benedict, after Giles' death didn't seem totally in character. I was genuinely shocked, and not in a good way.So I'm not sure how I feel about the book as a whole. It is so good up until that point, and that's why I'm giving it four stars, rather than three. If you've read i [...]

    24. Goodbye, Solly! The cast of the second book is still present, but it's been delegated to a very secondary role, where it belonds and works quite nicely.The primary actor in this one is Monica Gall, a promising singer and the recipient of a whole lot of money, in a very strange fashion. All of that mostly exists to link the story back to Canada and Salterton, but the rest of it has fairly little to do with all that.It's a genuinely interesting book, for those who like interesting books.

    25. Of the three novels in the trilogy, I think this one holds up the best. The other two rely more on humor, and I think (given that they get less funny every time I reread them) that the humor, while based on observation of Canadian life, thins as time passes. This one is more character-driven and the humor is deeper. Davies was gearing up for his later works. (Still, I've read this several times by now.)(And read it again in 2014.)

    26. In an attempt to get hip to CanLit, I picked up Robertson Davies from The Bookman. I was really well surprised at the quality of Davies' writing and characters. The weave of the story, the unusual shift of focus between the story's players makes Davies' writing unique to me. Since it's my copy I've gone and dog-eared all the revelatory passages, brilliant quotations I want to recall. A personal novel about musicianship/being an artist and growth : Highly, highly recommended.

    27. Enjoyed this book, though not as much as Leaven of Malice. I never felt entirely sympathetic towards Monica (what on earth did she see in Giles Revelstoke?) and would have liked to have spent more time in Salterton and less in London. But these are minor points: the prose was wonderful to savour and digest and the world of professional musicians in the 1950s seemed convincingly drawn.

    28. "It's a muddle, A muddle and I can't get it straight. I wish I knew what I should do. I wish I even knew what I want to do. I want to go on in the life that has somehow or other found me and claimed me. And I want so terribly to be happy. Oh God, don't let me slip under the surface of all the heavy-hearted dullness that seems to claim so many people, even when they struggle and strive to keep their heads above the waves! Help me! Help me!"

    29. Robertson Davies is number one in my list of ideal dinner guests. He is wry and satirical, prone to caricature, but has such a warm and forgiving attitude toward his characters that is endearing and inspiring (it reminds you that it's possible to be critical but basically good-natured). The stories are totally chewy--far-reaching, and involving. Each trilogy has its strengths. I think the Cornish was my fav. I wish there was more for me to read

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