Robertson Davies

William Robertson Davies was a renowned Canadian novelist, playwright, critic, journalist, and professor. He is best known for his series of trilogies, including the Deptford Trilogy, the Salterton Trilogy, and the Cornish Trilogy.


This list of books are ONLY the books that have been ranked on the lists that are aggregated on this site. This is not a comprehensive list of all books by this author.

  1. 1. The Deptford Trilogy

    "The Deptford Trilogy" is a series of interconnected novels that explore the life of a man from a small Canadian town named Deptford, and the ripple effects of a single childhood event that shaped the lives of three boys. The narrative weaves themes of love, guilt, art, and the complexity of human nature. The story is told from multiple perspectives and spans several decades, providing a deep exploration of the characters' psychological and spiritual development.

    The 1188th Greatest Book of All Time
  2. 2. Fifth Business

    The novel follows the life of Dunstan Ramsay, a man haunted by a childhood accident that he believes he caused. The book explores his guilt and its impact on his life, as well as his relationships with others, including a woman he loves but cannot have, a brilliant but troubled friend, and a saintly fool. Throughout his life, Ramsay seeks redemption and understanding in the realms of history, mythology, and religion.

    The 1843rd Greatest Book of All Time
  3. 3. The Cunning Man

    The novel follows the life of a Toronto doctor who uses his knowledge of medicine and his understanding of human nature to treat his patients. He believes in the healing power of the human spirit and often uses unconventional methods to treat his patients. The narrative is filled with his interesting patients and their stories, as well as his own personal journey. The book also explores themes of spirituality, love, and the complexities of human nature.

    The 5092nd Greatest Book of All Time
  4. 4. The Rebel Angels

    The novel is a satirical and erudite exploration of the clash between the spiritual and the carnal, set within the hallowed halls of a Canadian university. It follows the lives of a group of scholars who become embroiled in a series of events sparked by the death of a wealthy art collector. As the academics vie for the deceased's valuable collection, the narrative delves into themes of gnosticism, alchemy, and the complexities of human desire. The story weaves together the personal ambitions, romantic entanglements, and intellectual pursuits of its characters, revealing the moral and ethical dilemmas that often accompany the quest for knowledge and power.

    The 8193rd Greatest Book of All Time