Homage to Mary

‘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.

5 thoughts on “Homage to Mary

  1. As a writer and square peg in a round hole myself I’m with you here Linda! And with the “take me in bit” – except I’ve now decided I’d rather be ‘in’ elsewhere, where I’m welcome, thank you very much! If you get my drift.

    I’ve heard from several good writers recently who seem to be experiencing the same problem. But then, who decides what are the square pegs and the round holes – and why do they have to fit anyway?

    Mary Renault – gosh yes! I’d forgotten all about her! Thanks for the reminder & the article.

  2. This is all your fault, Helen! I’ve spent the ENTIRE morning following threads and inspirations started by your ‘my guests’ page, and I’m feeling quite fired up! Kristen is so positive. I’ve even had to start an old-fashioned notebook to keep track of all my various trails. If it were deep snow, and I were a monkey on LSD looking for a buried banana, you’d get a similar pattern of pawprints.

    • Thanks, Marilyn. In fact, you’re such a square peg yourself that your message went straight into my spam filter and, before I could spot it there, jumped into my junk email folder. I don’t know what’s going on, and can only hope it hasn’t been happening to much! Anyway, misfits unite! Let’s create our own pattern…

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