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Saturday Art: Influential Authors: Mary Renault

The Persian Boy, by Mary Renault

Please Note: When I began this series, it was to cover a lot of authors whom I have found personally influential, even though this may only be because I enjoyed the stories they have told in their books or short stories. I’m just fortunate enough and well read enough that many of the authors I have personally enjoyed have also been influential on a macro scale as well as micro. rrt

I was in college when I first read Mary Renault yet I had long been aware of her as an author as my grandmother had some of her books. From her wiki:

Mary Renault (/?r?no?lt/;[2] 4 September 1905 – 13 December 1983), born Eileen Mary Challans,[1] was an English writer best known for her historical novels set in Ancient Greece. In addition to vivid fictional portrayals of Theseus, Socrates, Plato and Alexander the Great, she wrote a non-fiction biography of Alexander.

Her Goodreads.com bio offers this:

Her historical novels are all set in ancient Greece. They include a pair of novels about the mythological hero Theseus and a trilogy about the career of Alexander the Great. In a sense, The Charioteer (1953), the story of two young gay servicemen in the 1940s who try to model their relationship on the ideals expressed in Plato’s Phaedrus and Symposium, is a warm-up for Renault’s historical novels. By turning away from the 20th century and focusing on stories about male lovers in the warrior societies of ancient Greece, Renault no longer had to deal with homosexuality and anti-gay prejudice as social “problems”. Instead she was free to focus on larger ethical and philosophical concerns, while examining the nature of love and leadership. The Charioteer could not be published in the U.S. until 1959, after the success of The Last of the Wine proved that American readers and critics would accept a serious gay love story.

As I mentioned above, I remember seeing some of Renault’s books at my grandmother’s as I was growing up but I had not read anything until I was in college when The King Must Die was part of the required reading for one of my classes. I think the class was History of Social Thought which was one of the required courses for my Sociology major. Regardless of the class, I read the book, enjoyed the story and now had another author of historical fiction covering one of the eras that had always fascinated me. It was easy for me to pick up and read the sequel to The King Must Die which was The Bull from the Sea.

I have also read her Alexander series about Alexander the Great. Fire from Heaven about his early years up to the death of his father, Phillip; The Persian Boy covering the last few years of his life, and Funeral Games about his death and the next few years after. The Mask of Apollo is the story of an actor in the 4th century BC, traveling the cities of ancient Greece.

One area where Renault was influential is in her use of LGBTQ characters. Her wiki says:

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Saturday Art: Influential Authors: Mary Renault

The Persian Boy, by Mary Renault

Please Note: When I began this series, it was to cover a lot of authors whom I have found personally influential, even though this may only be because I enjoyed the stories they have told in their books or short stories. I’m just fortunate enough and well read enough that many of the authors I have personally enjoyed have also been influential on a macro scale as well as micro. rrt

I was in college when I first read Mary Renault yet I had long been aware of her as an author as my grandmother had some of her books. From her wiki:

Mary Renault (/?r?no?lt/;[2] 4 September 1905 – 13 December 1983), born Eileen Mary Challans,[1] was an English writer best known for her historical novels set in Ancient Greece. In addition to vivid fictional portrayals of Theseus, Socrates, Plato and Alexander the Great, she wrote a non-fiction biography of Alexander.

Her Goodreads.com bio offers this:

Her historical novels are all set in ancient Greece. They include a pair of novels about the mythological hero Theseus and a trilogy about the career of Alexander the Great. In a sense, The Charioteer (1953), the story of two young gay servicemen in the 1940s who try to model their relationship on the ideals expressed in Plato’s Phaedrus and Symposium, is a warm-up for Renault’s historical novels. By turning away from the 20th century and focusing on stories about male lovers in the warrior societies of ancient Greece, Renault no longer had to deal with homosexuality and anti-gay prejudice as social “problems”. Instead she was free to focus on larger ethical and philosophical concerns, while examining the nature of love and leadership. The Charioteer could not be published in the U.S. until 1959, after the success of The Last of the Wine proved that American readers and critics would accept a serious gay love story.

As I mentioned above, I remember seeing some of Renault’s books at my grandmother’s as I was growing up but I had not read anything until I was in college when The King Must Die was part of the required reading for one of my classes. I think the class was History of Social Thought which was one of the required courses for my Sociology major. Regardless of the class, I read the book, enjoyed the story and now had another author of historical fiction covering one of the eras that had always fascinated me. It was easy for me to pick up and read the sequel to The King Must Die which was The Bull from the Sea.

I have also read her Alexander series about Alexander the Great. Fire from Heaven about his early years up to the death of his father, Phillip; The Persian Boy covering the last few years of his life, and Funeral Games about his death and the next few years after. The Mask of Apollo is the story of an actor in the 4th century BC, traveling the cities of ancient Greece.

One area where Renault was influential is in her use of LGBTQ characters. Her wiki says: (more…)

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dakine01

dakine01

Small town Kentucky country boy lived all over the country. Currently in Ruskin, FL