‘Historical fiction’ is a broad genre, including so many other genres: romance, adventure, murder mystery, you name it. My books are square pegs in an infinite vista of round holes, and sometimes I get very lost, down and altogether upset about it. ‘Take me in!’ I cry to the distance, but there is no response. It’s up to me if I want to be a misfit – and I guess I do, truth be told.
And then, with a little bit of grace and a twinkle of fairy dust, I remember. I remember how all this started, and who it was who inspired me: Mary Renault. A misfit if ever there was one, but perhaps she created a class of her own.
I wrote an article many years ago in homage to the author who was my favourite when I was crossing the threshold into adulthood. It was published in Solander, the journal of the Historical Novels Society, and is often cited as a source for info on Mary (although I drew what I knew from a very good biography of her by David Sweetman). So I thought I would refresh its perennial web presence by posting it here on Pages. It’s long – coffee-break reading.
Any other fans of Mary out there?
PS. The link to the article is at the top – has its own tab.