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The Charioteer A Virago Modern Classic by Mary Renault, Beale Simon Russell
  

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First published in 1953 when this would have been particularly shocking, it is a portrait of gay love in the wane of World War II where a young man, returned injured from Dunkirk and unsure of his emotions, is drawn into an illicit friendship that develops beyond his control. Bringing in the taboos of conscientious objection and sexual desires, this is a landmark book of great importance which has been unavailable for some years. Highly recommended.

Synopsis

The Charioteer A Virago Modern Classic by Mary Renault, Beale Simon Russell

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. First published in 1953, The Charioteer is a 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.

Reviews

A tender coming-of-age love story from one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century * Daily Express * A stunningly good book -- Antonia Senior * The Times * Emotionally intelligent, beautifully written and deeply moving, it transcends categorisations -- Peter Parker * Daily Telegraph *


About the 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 in 1937. 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.

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Book Info

Publication date

7th November 2013

Author

Mary Renault, Beale Simon Russell

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Publisher

Virago Press Ltd an imprint of Little, Brown Book Group

Format

Paperback
432 pages

Categories

Relationship Stories
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)

ISBN

9781844089505

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