Mary Renault

Mary Renault, 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).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2015, The Columbia University Press.

Mary Renault: Selected full-text books and articles

The Masks of Mary Renault: A Literary Biography By Caroline Zilboorg University of Missouri Press, 2001
The Hellenism of Mary Renault By Bernard F. Dick Southern Illinois University Press, 1972
Masquing the Phallus: Genital Ambiguity in Mary Renault's Historical Novels By Hoberman, Ruth Twentieth Century Literature, Vol. 42, No. 2, Summer 1996
Who's Who in Lesbian and Gay Writing By Gabriele Griffin Routledge, 2002
Librarian’s tip: "Renault, Mary" begins on p. 165
Who's Who in Contemporary Gay and Lesbian History: From World War II to the Present Day By Robert Aldrich; Garry Wotherspoon Routledge, 2001
Librarian’s tip: "Renault, Mary" begins on p. 348
The Seduction of the Mediterranean: Writing, Art, and Homosexual Fantasy By Robert Aldrich Routledge, 1993
Librarian’s tip: "Peyrefitte, Yourcenar, Renault" begins on p. 187
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