Canadian novelist Robertson Davies is one of my favorite writers. He’s compared to Charles Dickens, but I think he also has elements of Anthony Trollope. Davies writes novels of character. Tempest Tost, published in 1951, is the first book in the Salterton Trilogy. Salterton is a quaint Canadian town. The local theater group decide to put on a production of Shakespeare’s The Tempest and that powers the plot for the rest of the book. If you want to discover what goes on in little theater groups, Tempest Tost will open your eyes. All the politics and sniping and snarkiness is captured perfectly by Davies. And, once you laugh your way through Tempest Tost, you’ll want to read the other novels in this trilogy: Leaven of Malice and A Mixture of Frailties. I can also highly recommend Robertson Davies’ Cornish Trilogy and Deptford Trilogy. Great story-telling!

18 thoughts on “FORGOTTEN BOOKS #144: TEMPEST TOST By Robertson Davies

  1. Deb

    One of my favorite books by one of my favorite authors. I hope readers unfamiliar with Davies’s work will seek out this book and others. He also wrote non-fiction; my favorite is a collection of essays about living and writing, THE MERRY HEART. He was quite a profound thinker despite his “jolly old man of letters” appearance.

  2. Jeff Meyerson

    For years I’ve been meaning to try Davies but can never figure out the best place to start. This one sounds possible. For a darker view of behind the scenes at an amateur theater company read the early part of REVOLUTIONARY ROAD by Richard Yates.

    1. george Post author

      I’ve read REVOLUTIONARY ROAD, Jeff. TEMPEST TOST is a kinder, gentler version of a Little Theater production. And a good place to start reading Robertson Davies.

  3. Scott Cupp

    I have known of Davies for many years but never read him. I love Trollope, especially BARCHESTER TOWERS, perhaps the funniest novel in English. I may give this one a try. Thanks, George!

  4. Jeff Meyerson

    Unfortunately, the second half of the chocolate pudding pie has to wait until tomorrow as we took the Abbotts to Court Pastry for a lobster tail, sfogliatelle and chocolate pastaciotta – all yummy pastries. Oh yeah, almost forgot the fig cookies.


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