“…as Someone Who Got It Right: The Classical Novels of Mary Renault” (Dr. Ian Storey, Professor Emeritus, Trent University)

Mary Renault (1905-1983) was best-known for her eight historical fictions set in the world of ancient Greece. These were very well received and highly regarded for her ability to reproduce the ancient settings with a startling authenticity, to write dramatic plots, and to create consistent and memorable characters. Some of the latter were her own invention, but most were real historical figures such as Socrates, Plato, and Alexander the Great. Of special interest was her success in writing two historical fictions about a figure of myth/legend, the Athenian leader Theseus. In this lecture I hope to revive her memory for readers familiar with these novels and to raise a crop of new fans of these compelling stories.