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Robertson Davies collection
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Physical description area
3 folders of textual records.
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Archival description area
Name of creator
Robertson Davies (1913-1995) was a writer, journalist, and university professor. Educated at Upper Canada College, Queen's University and Balliol College, Oxford, he returned to Canada in 1940 as literary editor of Saturday Night. Two years later, he became the editor of the Peterborough Examiner. At the beginning of his career Davies earned his reputation as a journalist, dramatist and the alter ego of the cantankerous diarist, Samuel Marchbanks. In 1951 Davies published his first novel, Tempest Tost. Altogether he wrote a dozen novels, but he was equally prolific as an essayist, book reviewer, short story writer, and satiric commentator of his age. Davies taught literature at the University of Toronto from 1960 to 1981, and it was also during this period that he was named the first Master of Massey College. He was the recipient of many honours, including the D.Litt conferred upon him by McMaster University in 1959.
Scope and content
The collection consists of three typescripts: A masque of Aesop, A masque of Mr. Punch, and A Christmas Carol Reharmonized.
Immediate source of acquisition
Items 1 and 2 (17-2000) were purchased courtesy of the Alexander Gallery. Item 3 (26-2003) was purchased from Nigel Williams Rare Books.
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There are no access restrictions.
Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication
F.20 Item 1. A masque of Aesop written for the jubilee of the Preparatory School of Upper Canada College / by Robertson Davies. – . – Ts. ( mimeo). 36 p.
F.21 Item 2. A masque of Mr. Punch: a Victorian extravaganza for the boys of U.C.C. Prep. / by Robertson Davies. – 1962. – Ts. (mimeo). 62 p. – With a programme of the production of the play dated 8 December 1967.
[These two plays were specifically written by Davies for staging at the Preparatory School of Upper Canada College in Toronto. The typescripts are pre-publication versions of the plays given to the directors, actors and crews while each play was in production.]
F.22 Item 3. A Christmas Carol Reharmonized / by Robertson Davies. – 1982. – Ts. (mimeo). 15 p.
[Title page reads: “This special edition of | A Christmas Carol Reharmonized | has been prepared by | BRENDA and ROBERTSON DAVIES | to bid some of their friends | A MERRY CHRISTMAS. | There are twenty-five copies, | of which this is | Number 21.” The number 21 has been handwritten and is followed by the handwritten dedication: “for Maisie | from Rob | with love. | Christmas 1982” The story is a variation on A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens.]
For further archival material pertaining to Davies, researchers should examine the fonds of Canadian publishers Clarke, Irwin; McClelland and Stewart; and Macmillan Canada.
No further accruals are expected.
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