"BOREDOM AND STUPIDITY AND PATRIOTISM, ESPECIALLY WHEN COMBINED, ARE THREE OF THE GREATEST EVILS OF THE WORLD WE LIVE IN": FIRST EDITION OF DAVIES' WORLD OF WONDERS, INSCRIBED IN THE YEAR OF PUBLICATION BY ROBERTSON DAVIES TO A WELL-KNOWN CANADIAN CONDUCTOR AND COMPOSER
DAVIES, Robertson. World of Wonders. Toronto: Macmillan of Canada, (1975). Octavo, original red cloth, original dust jacket. $550.
First edition of the final novel in the Deptford trilogy, inscribed on the title page in the year of publication to a famous Canadian conductor and composer and his wife: "Robertson Davies for Dorothy & Bernard Naylor: Nov. 17:1975."
"Robertson Davies has written a long, complex trilogy that revolves around a single, childish incident. Packing a stone into a snowball, Percy Boyd Staunton throws it at his friend Dunstan Ramsay. Instead it strikes the Baptist minister's pregnant wife, who goes into premature labor and, after a difficult delivery, is left mad… World of Wonders concerns Magnus Eisengrim, issue of the minister's wife and now a renowned magician, whose life began 80 days early and under a dark shadow because of the errant snowball… a novel of stunning verbal energy and intelligence" (New York Times). This copy is inscribed to Dorothy Naylor and her husband, Bernard. Bernard Naylor was an acclaimed Canadian conductor and composer, whose contributions to music included three years as conductor of the Winnipeg Male Voice Choir, the Winnipeg Philharmonic Choir, and the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra; three years as musical director at Queen's College, Oxford; and five years as conductor for the Little Symphony of Montreal (after founding it). After returning to conducting in Winnipeg briefly, Naylor began to compose choral works, known for their passion and intimacy. Naylor and his wife were devoted art and book collectors. Naylor's library and papers were left to the University of Victoria.
Book fine, bright dust jacket with only light rubbing to extremities. A most desirable inscribed copy with interesting provenance.