Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name



English Language, Literature, and Creative Writing


Literature, Canadian (English).


Mackendrick, Louis K.,




The remarkable similarities between Robertson Davies' A Mixture of Frailties and The Lyre of Orpheus are immediately discernable, even though these novels are separated by thirty years. Both works centre upon the emotional and musical development of lead female characters who are analogous to one another in their backgrounds, naivete, and learning experiences. Davies devotes a substantial portion of his narrative in both novels to examine social classes, religion, education, and the influence of money, thereby displaying any apparent changes his own possible views may have undergone during the passage of such a considerable length of time. While Davies places a greater emphasis upon mythological influences in The Lyre of Orpheus, this influence is developed from the relatively more minor part mythology played in A Mixture of Frailties. Davies' development of narrative technique between the publication of these two works must be analyzed to some extent to decipher whether or not the modifications he creates in his later work clearly illustrate his concerns towards continuous artistic progression. Source: Masters Abstracts International, Volume: 32-06, page: 1527. Adviser: Louis K. Mackendrick. Thesis (M.A.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 1993.