The Charioteer centers around Laurie ODell, a young Dunkirk veteran stationed in a military hospital. Laurie is a homosexual. While undergoing physical therapy for his shattered knee, Laurie falls in love with a young conscientious objector named Andrew Raynes. This love is complicated when an old school mate once again enters Laurie's life. Ralph Lanyon is also homosexual and has deep feelings for Laurie, but Laurie feels that he must remain loyal to A... The Last of the Wine
Alexias grows up in Athens during the time of the Peloponnesian War. He meets Lysis, a student of Socrates, and the book traces their relationship as well. The real magic of this book lies not in the plot but in the intense realism (or at least believability) of Renault's re-creation of ancient Greece. You could believe she'd lived there. ... The Mask of Apollo
This the story of Nikeratos, an actor in ancient Greece who, in addition to relating tales of his professional life, also describes his friendships with some of the big names of the time, including Plato and Aristotle. Although the political aspect is interesting, the best part is the extremely accurate and well-researched depiction of an actor's life in that era. Renault had a real gift for making history come alive through the eyes of her characters, ... The Praise Singer
Historical--especially classical--fiction seems to be Mary Renault's forte in writing and in "The Praise Singer" she once again steps into a favorite setting--ancient Greece.
She tells us the story of Simonides, a poet in the Golden Age of Athens. She begins in Sicily where Simonides finds Kleobis the bard and together they travel to Samos, where they enjoy the riches of this island. Kleobis dies and Simonides returns to Athens, which is in a turm...