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Download What’s Bred in the Bone: The Cornish Trilogy, Book 2 Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample What’s Bred in the Bone: The Cornish Trilogy, Book 2, by Robertson Davies Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (2,492 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Robertson Davies Narrator: Frederick Davidson Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Cornish Trilogy Release Date:
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Narrated by two angels acting as commentators on Francis’ life, this novel is a curious blend of fable, religion, and mythology.

Francis Cornish was always good at keeping secrets. From the well-hidden family secret of his childhood to his mysterious encounters with a small-town embalmer, an expert art restorer, a Bavarian countess, and various masters of espionage, the events in Francis’ life were not always what they seemed.

In this wonderfully ingenious portrait of an art expert and collector of international renown, Robertson Davies has created a spellbinding tale of artistic triumph and heroic deceit. It is a tale told in stylish, elegant prose and endowed with lavish portions of Davies’ wit and wisdom.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A deliciously readable story…An altogether remarkable creation, his most accomplished novel to date.”

    New York Times

  • “Robertson Davies is the sort of novelist readers can hardly wait to tell their friends about.”

    Washington Post Book World

  • “[An] intelligent and entertaining novel…Davidson employs a rhythmic rising and falling of pitch, which is surprisingly effective in entertaining and relaxing the listener.”


  • “Extraordinary…A gripping story of artistic triumph and heroic deceit, told with deep insight into the worlds of art and international espionage. This work is tailor-made for the eloquence of narrator Frederick Davidson.”

    Library Journal

  • “Davidson’s carefully modulated, vocalized reading brings to life the gallery of players in Cornish’s world, working together with Davies’s rich prose to peel back layer after layer of deceit."


  • A 1986 Man Booker Prize Finalist

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Leslie | 2/19/2014

    " I fell in love with Robertson Davies while in high school. The vivid strangeness of the worlds he creates, clothed in a style so sedate that it can be difficult to notice, captivated me entirely, especially in The Deptford Trilogy. I returned to What's Bred In The Bone after stumbling upon a tattered copy in a used bookstore, and, while I was still transported, I got to look at it a little more clearly. He definitely tells instead of showing at times, and may lay things out a little too clearly for my taste. I didn't mind. At the risk of getting too analytical, I was fascinated by the parallels between the main character-- a talented drawer and brushmaster who feels like his talent belongs better to a different age, and struggles with the desire to express himself in an artistic vocabulary that is far from modern-- with Davies, who published this old-fashioned novel in 1985, an era of literary contortion and post-modernism quite different from the work he'd created. Besides all that, it is an absorbing story, just what I needed to read while traveling over spring break. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Malcolm | 2/19/2014

    " I love Robersston Davies novels - usually. I kept waiting for something to happen and not much does really. Perhaps this is what is called character driven novel with the plot secondary. I recommend it only to diehard fans of Davies. Otherwise, the Deptford Trilogy and others are a better choice. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Suzyn | 2/13/2014

    " Robertson Davies is kind of like Tim Burton; even when I don't like what he does with story I can see why he did it and appreciate his craft in doing it. This is one of my favorite books and every time I read it I discover some wonderful new turn of phrase to admire. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Melanie Barbarito | 2/12/2014

    " Written before Lyre of Orpheus--the sequel I had read earlier. Well written, good characters, but about 3/4 of way through I was wishing it were done. And it didn't seem to go anywhere. Of course, the story is finished in the second book. Duh! "

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