Wine Dark Seas: Thank You Mary Renault

king-must-die-renaultWorking my way down the library shelves after finishing the last Jean Plaidy on offer at my small local public library, I discovered Mary Renault. And I fell in love with her books on ancient Greece and mythology. From The King Must Die about Theseus to The Persian Boy told from the perspective of Alexander the Great’s lover, these books transported me and were some of the first books I read with gay content: Two men could be lovers. At the time, I had no idea Renault was a lesbian who lived with her partner in Cape Town, South Africa; I just knew she brought myth and legend to full-bodied life. She was a pioneer who affected many young readers, gay especially, and she should get her full measure.

$(KGrHqR,!i4FCsmhpe!4BQr8b55Qew~~60_35While her books still have a prominent place on my shelf—especially the first edition hardcover of The Mask of Apollo I picked up for a $1 at a garage sale—I hadn’t read one in years. And then I read Daniel Mendelsohn’s wonderful tribute to her in the New Yorker a few weeks ago (and video). Now my challenge is deciding which one to read first…after I finish Madeline Miller’s The Song of Achilles which brings the events of the Iliad to life through the eyes of Patroclus, Achilles’ closest companion and lover.

9780062060617In these dark days of winter, I encourage you to visit these wine dark seas.

Now if only there were some with lesbians…

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One Response to Wine Dark Seas: Thank You Mary Renault

  1. anonymous says:

    Mary Renault’s first novel was about a lesbian couple. It’s a bit long-winded but interesting.

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