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Renault is a master storyteller, and THE PERSIAN BOY was one of her triumphs. THE FUNERAL GAMES is also magnificent (albeit very sad). Wonderful post, Philip (love the photos too).


Her World War II novel THE CHARIOTEER is also beautifully written; all of her works seem to be steeped in sadness.


The Persian Boy is, in my opinion, is the most beautiful story ever written. I, like you, have a battered copy, read many, many times. But I would trade my entire library just to keep it!
Although not much is written about the real life Bagoas - he was intimate with Alexander for sure, the only one described as 'beloved' of the king in this nature, and influential in a man's execution. Much as historians like to ignore Bagoas, these things suggest more than a trivial relationship! Although Mary Renault's Persion Boy is fiction, maybe some truth of what life was really like for Bagoas, lies hidden in those magical pages.


I love hearing from people who have been moved by the story of Alexander and Bagoas. Renault is surely one of the most imaginative writers of the 20th century.

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