Mary Renault

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Renault, Mary,

pseud. of

Mary Challens,

1905–83, English novelist, b. London. After receiving her nursing degree in 1936, she emigrated to South Africa. She was best-known for her historical novels about ancient Greece and Rome, including The King Must Die (1958), The Mask of Apollo (1966), Fire from Heaven (1970), and The Persian Boy (1973). Renault's works often revolve around homosexuality and the struggles of men and women to forge a sexual identity; this struggle is the central focus of The Charioteer (1955), a study of soldiers in World War II, widely regarded as her finest novel.


See studies by P. Wolfe (1969) and B. F. Dick (1972).

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Mary Renault forged ahead with her novel The Charioteerin 1953.
'In everything I read, I ask myself, Is this a story that can be told on stage?' Lately, I've been reading the classical novels of Mary Renault. I've always been interested in the ancient world, and she has rekindled my passion."
The chapter 'Evil Men: Literature and Homosexuality, ranges from Terence Rattigan to Angus Wilson and Mary Renault via a discussion of Peter Wildeblood's autobiography Against the Law (1955) and space is also given to Rodney Garland's The Heart in Exile (1953).
I was inspired to write by Mary Renault's The Fire From Heaven, her Alexander the Great trilogy.
by HE Bates; The Birds on the Trees by Nina Bawden; A Place in England by Melvyn Bragg; Down All the Days by Christy Brown; Bomber by Len Deighton; Troubles by JG Farrell; The Circle by Elaine Feinstein; The Bay of Noon by Shirley Hazzard; A Clubbable Woman by Reginald Hill; I'm the King of the Castle by Susan Hill; A Domestic Animal by Francis King; The Fire Dwellers by Margaret Laurence; Out of the Shelter by David Lodge; A Fairly Honourable Defeat by Iris Murdoch; Fireflies by Shiva Naipaul; Master and Commander by Patrick O'Brian; Head to Toe by Joe Orton; Fire from Heaven by Mary Renault; A Guilty Thing Surprised by Ruth Rendell; The Driver's Seat by Muriel Spark; and The Vivisector by Patrick White.
Rieu's translation of Homer's Iliad and Mary Renault's historical novel, The Last of the Wine.
I'd wanted to go to Greece, or more precisely Crete as I was reading Mary Renault's novels then and wanted to see Knossos; breathe its ancient air, and I'll freely admit, get a sun tan while I was at it.
Lesbian Pulp Fiction needs a companion anthology of lesbian writing from the literary side of the aisle, including authors like Willa Cather, Djuna Barnes, Virginia Woolf, Colette, Mary Renault, Violette Leduc, and May Sarton.
I enjoyed Alan Brady Conrath's essay on Mary Renault in the May-June issue.