by Mary Renault
Published by Longmans, Green and Co.
399 pgs. • find on Amazon.com
Blanche M. Baker Memorial Library, Accession #321
This item is located at Oviatt Library, CSUN
ABSTRACT from the Jacket Cover, second printing (1953)
Since her first novel, Purposes of Love, Mary Renault’s books have won an appreciative and ever-increasing public. The Charioteer, however, is in many respects her most important book.
The story is set in an English hospital after the evacuation from Dunkirk and concerns the relationships between a wounded corporal, a naval officer with whom he was at school, and a young medical orderly.
Miss Renault treats the whole subject with remarkable understanding. Her book does not plead for wider toleration, but, in a narrative of moving sincerity, shows the difficulties of those who, realizing their tragic predicament, fight to retrieve their lives from moral collapse in the face of a hostile society.
The title is taken from Plato’s Phaedrus. The Charioteer is the self, the winged horses which draw him the spirit and the flesh, or perhaps more accurately, aspiration and desire. The conflict implied by the myth is the theme of this book.