A literary classic from one of Canada's greatest storytellers, A Mixture of Frailties is the vivid and moving conclusion to the Salterton Trilogy.
A Mixture of Frailties is Robertson Davies's first extended engagement with one of the great neuroses of Canadian culture: the former colony's artistic relationship with Europe, and particularly with Britain.
Davies begins his story with the funeral of Louisa Bridgetower. The substantial income from her estate is to be used to send an unmarried young woman to Europe to pursue an education in the arts. Mrs. Bridgetower's executors end up selecting Monica Gall, an almost entirely unschooled singer whose sole experience comes from performing with the Heart and Hope Gospel Quartet, a rough outfit sponsored by a small fundamentalist group. Monica soon finds herself in England, a pupil of some of Britain's most remarkable teachers and composers, and she gradually blossoms from a Canadian rube into a cosmopolitan soprano with a unique--and tragicomic--career.
A Mixture of Frailties is so much more than the story of Monica Gall's life in London and her education as a singer. It is an account of her education as a human being. The result is a vivid, comic, and frequently moving novel.