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The Rebel Angels

The Rebel Angels is one of Robertson Davies most noted novels, after his Deptford Trilogy. This is the first book in his Cornish Trilogy[?], which follows several faculty and staff of the College of St. John and Holy Ghost. Perhaps owing to its being set in a university, it did not quite attain the popularity of the latter, but it is generally considered to be among his best books.

The story, like many of Davies', is notable for very strongly drawn and memorable characters--in this case the defrocked monk Parlabane, a huge man with a thundering voice, voracious appetite, and flamboyantly homosexual tendencies, both brilliant and sinister; Maria, the graduate student who narrates the story; Hollier, a frazzled and absentminded professor, and Urquhart McVarnish, a greedy and manipulative counterpoint to him. Many of the characters are supposed to have been based on college acquaintances of Davies.

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