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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 Audiobook, 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: January 2006 ISBN: 9781455172399
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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.”

    AudioFile

  • “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."

    Kliatt

  • A 1986 Man Booker Prize Finalist

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 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 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 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 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! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ms. Bookworm | 2/3/2014

    " Interesting portrait of the history of a central character in the Cornish Trilogy. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Héctor | 1/12/2014

    " voici mon livre favorite de Robertson Davies: un livre vraiment "devorable"! I read this book non-stop and have bought it to have it available to those who love historical fiction. Davies was a Canadian genius! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gabriel | 12/30/2013

    " I really enjoyed this fictional biography. The book tell the life of Francis Cornish a Canadian artist, art restorer, critic, collector, and spy. Though the book tells the story of an incredibly interesting life, it never romanticizes or becomes an action story. To me it seemed quite realistic, and even seems to stress the ennui of a "great" man's life. However, it never dredges along, nor does the character falls into self-pity. My one disappointment with the book is that I never felt I had a real sense of the character's personality or voice. I was never able to derive a sense of the man from the dialogue. I suppose this could be a method to emphasize the secrecy that was bred in his bones. Regardless, this was a wonderful book and I will definitely read more Davies in the future. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Amanda Whisner | 12/26/2013

    " I only want to say, you do NOT need to have read the others in The Deptford trilogy to love this book, it stands on its own for charming style, interesting story and engaging characters. Love Davies, loved Bred in the Bone. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 John | 11/1/2013

    " you gotta love canadian writers. my favorite book from senior year (of high school). "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Alexey | 9/21/2013

    " Intellectual story about life, art, love and everything. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Heather | 6/9/2013

    " One of my favorite books-- you must read the entire Cornish series. Hard to describe but the characters are like old friends that you can't get enough of and Davies' writing about art and religion are just enough to make you feel like you are learning more about the world. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Neel | 11/1/2012

    " Robertson Davies is a fantastic writer. Period. The story is one I would not normally gravitate to, but his prose is beautiful. The modern English language should be spoken the way Davies writes. This above many other excellent candidates is the top reason to read this book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cynthia | 10/15/2012

    " This is very good fiction. I believe it is part of a trilogy but I read it as a stand-alone. A theme of what is real vs. what is not, what is art vs. what is not. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jesse | 7/30/2012

    " Very strange and wonderful. If you're interested at all in the world or art, hermeticism, history and philosophy, this is for you. One of my favorite writers :) "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Whitaker | 4/11/2012

    " A really great book shows us how everything is great and worth to die for "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Flan | 1/18/2012

    " I love this book. Subtle, considered,about beauty authenticity, it twists and turns and always stays interesting. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Leonce Gaiter | 5/23/2011

    " I simply love Davies, and this book is a raw delight. Literate, intelligent, all the while being massively entertaining. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 John Tendall | 2/4/2011

    " another writer not to miss "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 K.P.B. Stevens | 12/12/2010

    " I read this book three years ago, and not a month goes by when I don't think about it. I find it intensely profound, and full of the spiritual concerns that activate my life. Robertson Davies' best book, as far as I'm concerned. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Katie | 7/14/2010

    " Such an underrated and elegant writer. This was my last Davies read and I am so bummed that my time with this erudite, funny man has to come to a close. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lormac | 5/20/2010

    " Take this book (Or any other book by RDavies) with you if you are planning on spending several years alone on a deserted tropical island, and you will never be bored. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Badgerreader | 12/15/2009

    " How a complex man got to be the way he is. Francis Cornish is taken from birth to death by Robertson Davies. Am now reading The Lyre of Orpheus, the last book in the trilogy. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Elizabeth | 12/2/2009

    " Read this for Part 2, "What's Bred in the Bone," which is gripping and gothic and full of intrigue. The 1st and 3rd parts, not so much... still, very sad to have finished my last Davies trilogy! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kim | 6/29/2009

    " What's bred in the bone was my favourite part of this trilogy! I love reading it over and over again! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Suzanahhh | 5/22/2009

    " This is a re-read after some/many years
    Even better the second time around.

    I'll be re-reading
    The Deptford and Salterton trilogies
    and first reading Muthering Spirits
    and The Cunning Man "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lucy | 11/11/2008

    " I will always love anything by this author. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Millerman | 8/18/2008

    " I love Davies' writing, and the fact that this trilogy weaves in and around the art and music worlds makes it a my favorite of his works, by a very narrow margin. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sally | 7/28/2008

    " My favourite book of all time. Over 1000 pages and I carried it everywhere for over a week wehn I first read it. It is complex, fascinating, literary, touching, scholarly, hilarious, moving and wonderful. Just read it. "

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About the Author
Author Robertson Davies

Robertson Davies (1913–1995) was an internationally acclaimed author, actor, publisher, and, finally, professor at the University of Toronto. The author of twelve novels and several volumes of essays and plays, he was the first Canadian to be inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

About the Narrator

Frederick Davidson (1932–2005), also known as David Case, was one of the most prolific readers in the audiobook industry, recording more than eight hundred audiobooks in his lifetime, including over two hundred for Blackstone Audio. Born in London, he trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and performed for many years in radio plays for the British Broadcasting Company before coming to America in 1976. He received AudioFile’s Golden Voice Award and numerous Earphones Awards and was nominated for a Grammy for his readings.