|Davies was born in a small Canadian town that he later drew on when he created the town of Deptford in his famous trilogy. The son of a senator, he studied literature both in his native Canada and at Oxford, where he received a B.Lit. in 1938 with a thesis on Shakespeare's boy actors. After university, he worked in the theater--as an actor and also behind the scenes--including a stint at the Old Vic, and remained infatuated with it all his life. Several of his plays were produced upon his return to Canada, though they were never as well-received as his novels, and he was an important figure in the founding of the world-renowned Stratford Festival in Ontario. In 1942, he turned to journalism, and was, in turn, a writer, editor, and publisher for the Peterborouth (Ontario) Examiner, where he also served as a columnist under the name Samuel Marchbanks, whose humorous essays were later collected in three volumes. Beginning in 1960, Davies taught at the University of Toronto, and in 1961 was appointed Master of Massey College there, a post he retained until his retirement in 1981. He published criticism, essays, and--of course--fiction, beginning with TEMPEST-TOST (1951) and ending with THE CUNNING MAN (1994). Davies was a fundamentally shy and modest man who delighted in also being a bit of a mystery; he kept his private life largely to himself. He was married to Brenda Mathews, an Englishwoman he worked with at the Old Vic in London, and they had a daughter, Rosamond. When Davies died, at 82, of a sudden heart attack, he was writing an opera and planning a book on old age.