Books: New Men and Old Masters

WHAT'S BRED IN THE BONE

Fictional biography has one clear advantage over the real thing. Facts that are inaccessible to scholarship may simply be invented. On the other hand, a story of a made-up person can hardly rely on the fame or noteworthiness of its subject to attract and hold readers. So the writer who takes up this curious, hybrid genre assumes a mixed blessing: the freedom to fabricate reality in service of a goal that many may find inconsequential because it is not true. In his eleventh novel, Canadian Author Robertson Davies tackles precisely this problem and turns it into a triumph. What's Bred in...

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