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The Charioteer

A Virago Modern Classic

January 27, 2015 | Trade paperback
ISBN: 9781844089505
$15.99
Reader Reward Price: $14.39 info
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Description

'The Charioteer remains compelling both as a snapshot of a particular - and particularly fascinating - cultural moment, and as a deeply romantic story of love fulfilled against the odds. It has all those qualities that make Mary Renault so memorable as a novelist: craft, subtlety, intelligence, and a terrific natural sympathy with the intricacies of honour and desire' SARAH WATERS

'An explosive and courageous book' SIMON RUSSELL BEALE

First published in 1953, The Charioteer is a tender, intelligent coming-of-age novel and a bold, unapologetic portrayal of homosexuality that stands with Gore Vidal's The City and the Pillar and James Baldwin's Giovanni's Room as a landmark work in gay literature.


Injured at Dunkirk, Laurie Odell, a young corporal, is recovering at a rural veterans' hospital. There he meets Andrew, a conscientious objector serving as an orderly, and the men find solace in their covert friendship. Then Ralph Lanyon appears, a mentor from Laurie's schooldays. Through him, Laurie is drawn into a tight-knit circle of gay men for whom liaisons are fleeting and he is forced to choose between the ideals of a perfect friendship and the pleasures of experience.

'Emotionally intelligent, beautifully written and deeply moving, it transcends categorisations' Telegraph

About this Author

Mary Renault (1905-1983) was born in London and educated at St Hughs, Oxford. She trained as a nurse at Oxford's Radcliffe Infirmary, where she met her lifelong partner, Julie Mullard. Her first novel, Purposes of Love, was published in1937. In 1948, after North Face won a MGM prize worth $150,000, she and Mullard emigrated to South Africa. There, Renault was able to write forthrightly about homosexual relationships for the first time - in her masterpiece, The Charioteer (1953), and then in her first historical novel, The Last of the Wine (1956). Renault's vivid novels set in the ancient world brought her worldwide fame. In 2010 Fire From Heaven was shortlisted for the Lost Booker of 1970.

ISBN: 9781844089505
Format: Trade paperback
Pages: n/a
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
Published: 2015-01-27

Reviews

Emotionally intelligent, beautifully written and deeply moving, it transcends categorisations--Peter Parker, Daily Telegraph

A stunningly good book--Antonia Senior, The Times

A tender coming-of-age love story from one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century--Daily Express

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