Books: New Men and Old Masters


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...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!