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Views & Reviews Medical Classic

The Cunning Man

BMJ 2007; 335 doi: (Published 18 October 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;335:829
  1. Alex Paton, retired consultant physician, Oxfordshire
  1. alexpaton{at}

    “Should I have taken the false teeth?” Thus, the curt opening of The Cunning Man by Robertson Davies, typical of Canada's foremost man of letters, professor of English, and author of three brilliant trilogies telling stories about the odd ways in which people behave. The speaker is Dr Jonathan Hullah, Toronto physician and sometime police surgeon, whose reminiscences are prompted by the sudden death of his old friend, the saintly Father Ninian Hobbes, while celebrating Good Friday mass at St Aidan's church. The question will be answered only after 400-odd pages …

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