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Mary Renault was born on 4 September, 1905 in Forest Gate, Essex, England, is a novelist. Discover Mary Renault's Biography, Age, Height, Physical Stats, Dating/Affairs, Family and career updates. Learn How rich is She in this year and how She spends money? Also learn how She earned most of networth at the age of 78 years old?

Popular As N/A
Occupation N/A
Age 78 years old
Zodiac Sign Virgo
Born 4 September 1905
Birthday 4 September
Birthplace Forest Gate, Essex, England
Date of death (1983-12-13)
Died Place N/A
Nationality Greece

We recommend you to check the complete list of Famous People born on 4 September. She is a member of famous novelist with the age 78 years old group.

Mary Renault Height, Weight & Measurements

At 78 years old, Mary Renault height not available right now. We will update Mary Renault's Height, weight, Body Measurements, Eye Color, Hair Color, Shoe & Dress size soon as possible.

Physical Status
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Dating & Relationship status

She is currently single. She is not dating anyone. We don't have much information about She's past relationship and any previous engaged. According to our Database, She has no children.

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Mary Renault Net Worth

Her net worth has been growing significantly in 2022-2023. So, how much is Mary Renault worth at the age of 78 years old? Mary Renault’s income source is mostly from being a successful novelist. She is from Greece. We have estimated Mary Renault's net worth , money, salary, income, and assets.

Net Worth in 2023 $1 Million - $5 Million
Salary in 2023 Under Review
Net Worth in 2022 Pending
Salary in 2022 Under Review
House Not Available
Cars Not Available
Source of Income novelist

Mary Renault Social Network




Challans' work was generally well received during her lifetime, and has enjoyed a continuously positive reception in retrospective reviews. The historian Tom Holland said that "No other novelist has so successfully evoked the beauty, the charisma and the terror of ancient Greece." Peter Parker of The Telegraph, described The Charioteer as a "classic" in a 2014 review.


The Charioteer was adapted into a ten-episode serial for BBC Radio 4's Book at Bedtime, read by Anton Lesser and produced by Clive Brill, which was broadcast over two weeks from 25 November 2013.


Fire from Heaven, her novel about Alexander the Great, was longlisted for the 2010 Booker Prize. It was republished by Virago in 2013 with an introduction by Simon Russell Beale.


An hour-long documentary about her life titled Mary Renault – Love and War in Ancient Greece was aired on BBC Four in 2006. The documentary included contributions from Hughes, filmmaker Oliver Stone, and broadcaster Sue MacGregor. The Mary Renault Prize is offered at St Hugh's College, Challans' alma mater. It awards cash prizes to the best essays on the Classical reception, funded by royalties from Challans' work.


Challans travelled in Africa, Greece and Crete, but never returned to England. She had a mutual admiration for the novelist Patrick O'Brian, with whom she exchanged letters. Her earlier British reputation as a writer of sensationalist bestsellers faded, and in 1983 she was listed as one of the famous alumnae who had brought honour to Radcliffe Infirmary Nurses' Home. Challans became ill in August 1983, and was diagnosed with lung cancer and pneumonia. In her final days she tried to complete a final novel, which remained unfinished after she went into residential hospice care. She died in Cape Town on 13 December 1983.

The King Must Die and its sequel The Bull from the Sea were adapted by Michael Bakewell into a single 11-part BBC Radio 4 serial entitled The King Must Die. It was directed by David Spenser and broadcast between 5 June 1983 and 14 August 1983. It starred Gary Bond (Theseus), John Westbrook (Pittheus), Frances Jeater (queen of Eleusis), Carole Boyd (Aithra), Alex Jennings (Amyntor), Sarah Badel, David March and Christopher Guard.


Bernard Dick wrote The Hellenism of Mary Renault (1972), which analyzed the classical influences reflected in her corpus of work. Dick corresponded with Challans from 1969 until her death in 1983. The letters were eventually donated to the St Hugh’s College archive, which also holds other letters and transcriptions of interviews with Challans before her death.


Though Challans appreciated her gay following, she was uncomfortable with the "gay pride" movement that emerged in the 1970s after the Stonewall riots, and she was reluctant to identify as a lesbian. Like Laurie Odell, the protagonist of The Charioteer, she was suspicious of identifying oneself primarily by one's sexual orientation. Late in her life she expressed hostility to the gay rights movement, troubling some of her fans. Her views on the gay rights movement were elaborated upon in an afterword to The Friendly Ladies written shortly before her death in 1983.


Challans' American publishers refused to publish The Charioteer for fear of prosecution. Renault attributed this hesitancy to the rise of McCarthyism in the United States. It was not published in the United States until 1959, which made it a somewhat later addition to homosexual literature in the United States because American readers and critics had accepted serious gay love stories in such works as Djuna Barnes' Nightwood (1936), Carson McCullers' Reflections in a Golden Eye (1941), Truman Capote's Other Voices, Other Rooms (1948) and Gore Vidal's The City and the Pillar (1948).


Between 1956 and 1981, Challans turned to historical fiction, all of which was set in ancient Greece. Challans, by then in her mid-fifties, made her first foray into historical fiction with The Last of the Wine. The novel was her greatest financial and critical success to date, and she followed it with several other historical novels. Her historical novels include a pair of novels about the mythological hero Theseus and a trilogy about the career of Alexander the Great.


Challans' last contemporary romance novel, The Charioteer (1953), marked a change in theme. It tells the story of two young gay servicemen in the 1940s who try to model their relationship on the ideals expressed in Plato's Phaedrus and Symposium. It echoed themes which Challans later revisited with her historical novels.


The Charioteer has been noted as an early example of the "Gay novel". It was written during a period of time when male homosexuality was persecuted in the United Kingdom, particularly under the policies implemented by David Maxwell Fyfe, 1st Earl of Kilmuir, who was Home Secretary from 1951 to 1954. Simon Russell Beale described its contemporary context as "that sombre, twilit world of the early 1950s, when so much of homosexual life was threaded through with fear of exposure." The protagonists of the novel, Ralph and Laurie, look to Greek ideals as a template for how to understand their own masculinity and homosexuality. The society of Classical Greece acts as a more tolerant and liberating alternative to contemporary British society.


In 1948, after winning an MGM prize worth £37,000 for Return to Night, Challans was able to leave nursing and devote herself to writing full time. Challans and Mullard emigrated to Durban, South Africa, which was home to a community of gay and lesbian expatriates who had left the more sexually repressive environments of Britain and the United States. Because of this, Challans and Mullard were able to live together as a couple without causing much controversy. Challans worked successfully as an author after the couple’s arrival in South Africa in 1948, and continued to write until her death in 1983. In 1964, she became president of the South African chapter of International PEN, an association of writers, a position which she held until 1981. Both women were critical of the less liberal aspects of their new home, and participated in the Black Sash movement against apartheid in the 1950s. However, Challans was occasionally disillusioned with the Black Sash on account of its insufficiently radical leanings, such as when it refused to protest against the implementation of anti-homosexuality laws in 1968.


Beginning with Purposes of Love, Challans' first six novels had a contemporary setting. She published Return to Night in 1947. This was followed by The North Face in 1948.


Her novel The Friendly Young Ladies (1943), about a lesbian relationship between a writer and a nurse, is thought to be inspired by her relationship with Mullard. It is the only lesbian novel written by Renault.


After relocating to South Africa in the late 1940s, Challans was involved in the anti-apartheid movement, although not as actively as many of her contemporaries. In a 1979 interview, Challans said that although she signed petitions and written protests against apartheid, she did not "pass [herself] off as a heroine. You don't get locked up for writing protests." According to Challans, she did not feel strongly compelled to write about apartheid in her novels because it made no major impact on her life, saying "I have never profited from apartheid and I have never been segregated."


Challans worked as a nurse while writing her first novel, Purposes of Love, using the pseudonym Mary Renault to keep her writing secret should it meet with disapproval. She chose this pseudonym from Froissart's Chronicles and used it for the entirety of her professional literary career. The novel was published in 1939 by Longman in the United Kingdom, and by William Morrow and Company in the United States. After receiving a cash advance from Morrow, Challans purchased an MG sports car. Although Challans had failed her driving test, she decided to drive the car anyway along with Mullard, who also did not have a driver's licence. They were involved in a road traffic accident in June 1939 which seriously injured Mullard, who was hospitalized for facial injuries. A few weeks later, the two women retreated to a small cottage in Cornwall where they lived off the income from Purposes of Love. Challans had nearly completed her second novel when World War II began. By May 1940, both Challans and Mullard had been called in to treat patients at Winford Emergency Hospital in Bristol. There, they briefly treated evacuees from the Battle of Dunkirk. Renault worked in Radcliffe Infirmary's brain surgery ward until 1945.


Challan's mother hoped for her to take an interest in marriage. Following her degree, when her father refused to support her career as a writer, she left home and, to support herself, trained as a nurse. She began her training in 1933 at the Radcliffe Infirmary in Oxford. During her training she met Julie Mullard, a fellow nurse with whom she established a lifelong romantic relationship. Despite the mores of the time and the fact that Mullard had received an offer of marriage from one of her male lovers, they were determined to be a couple. They sneaked into each other's rooms at night, and on one occasion had to hide beneath the sheets when Matron burst in.


Challans was educated first at Levick Family School and Clifton Girls School in Bristol. She began attending St Hugh's College, Oxford, then an all-women's college, in 1924. While at St Hugh's, she studied history, mythology, philosophy and ancient literature. Although her studies included classical languages such as Latin, her Ancient Greek language skills were self taught. She graduated with an undergraduate degree in English in 1928. One of her tutors was J.R.R. Tolkien, who encouraged her to write a novel set in medieval times, but she burned the manuscript because she felt it lacked authenticity.


Eileen Mary Challans (4 September 1905 – 13 December 1983), known by her pen name Mary Renault (/ˈrɛnoʊlt/), was an English writer best known for her historical novels set in ancient Greece.

Born in Forest Gate in 1905, she attended St Hugh's College, Oxford, from 1924 until 1928. After graduating from St Hugh's with a Third Class in English, she worked as a nurse and began writing her first novels, which were contemporary romances. In 1948, she moved to South Africa with her partner Julie Mullard, where she spent the rest of her life. Living in South Africa allowed her to write about openly gay characters without fearing the censorship and homophobia of England. She devoted herself to writing historical fiction in the 1950s, which were also her most successful books. She is best known for her historical fiction today.

Eileen Mary Challans was born on 4 September 1905 at Dacre Lodge, 49 Plashet Road, Forest Gate, Essex. She was the eldest daughter of a physician Frank Challans and Mary Clementine Newsome Baxter Challans, known as Clementine. Her mother was "a desperately aspirational housewife whose favourite word was 'nice'". She had one younger sister, Francis Joyce Challans, who Mary always felt was the favourite daughter. Mary had a comfortable, yet strained childhood. Her parents had a contentious relationship, and her father was neglectful of his children. When she was 15, her aunt Bertha paid for her to be sent to a boarding school in Bristol, and then to attend the University of Oxford. As a result of entering boarding school later than most of her peers, Challans struggled to catch up in mathematics and Latin. She relied on the Loeb Classical Library to read Greek and Latin texts with English translation.