The Cornish Foundation, established with money left by the late art expert, collector, and notable eccentric Francis Cornish, must choose a worthy undertaking upon which to expend a portion of its considerable funds. It is decided that the Foundation will fund the doctoral work of one Hulda Schnakenburg, a grumpy, difficult, and extraordinarily talented music student. Her task is to complete the score of an unfinished opera by the Romantic composer E. T. A. Hoffmann. Additionally, and against all common sense, the Foundation will undertake to stage the opera, entitled Arthur of Britain, or The Magnanimous Cuckold. As the production takes shape, Hoffmann's restless spirit hovers rather too close for comfort, and his dictum, "The lyre of Orpheus opens the door of the underworld," proves prophetic for many a participant as their lives begin to resemble the opera's plot.
by Robertson Davies
by Morgan Robertson
by Linda Davies
by Paul Davies
by Imogen Robertson
"No other Canadian novelist is lauded and read as widely outside his homeland as Robertson Davies. His characters fascinate, and his gentle, graceful style makes no demands on the reader. His civilized prose should read well aloud--indeed, Davidson helps one hear its strengths. He provides an intelligent, expressive, well-paced rendering of the narrative about a Canadian university professor, as well as vivid impersonations of the characters. However, he has trouble with the "authorial voice." In his mouth, the narrative has a sarcastic, even cynical, edge, whereas Davies's words, though not without humor and irony, are far more empathetic. Y.R. (c)AudioFile, Portland, Maine"
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