The Charioteer

From LGBT Fiction Guide
Jump to: navigation, search
Thecharioteer.jpg
Title The Charioteer
Author(s) Mary Renault
Published 1953
Social Media Goodreads, LibraryThing
Purchase Available on Amazon

The Charioteer, by Mary Renault, is a prominent early work of gay literature about a wounded soldier who must come to terms with his attraction to two very different men in World War 2 era England. It was published in 1953 in England and 1959 in America and quickly became a bestseller in the LGBT community. The Charioteer was Renault's sixth novel and the last set in modern times. After its publication, she turned to historical novels set in Ancient Greece. The Charioteer remains popular today.

Publisher's Summary

After enduring an injury at Dunkirk during World War II, Laurie Odell is sent to a rural veterans’ hospital in England to convalesce. There he befriends the young, bright Andrew, a conscientious objector serving as an orderly. As they find solace and companionship together in the idyllic surroundings of the hospital, their friendship blooms into a discreet, chaste romance. Then one day, Ralph Lanyon, a mentor from Laurie’s schoolboy days, suddenly reappears in Laurie’s life, and draws him into a tight-knit social circle of world-weary gay men. Laurie is forced to choose between the sweet ideals of innocence and the distinct pleasures of experience.

Originally published in the United States in 1959, The Charioteer is a bold, unapologetic portrayal of male homosexuality during World War II that stands with Gore Vidal's The City and the Pillar and Christopher Isherwood's Berlin Stories as a monumental work in gay literature.

The Charioteer Fandom

Renault's novels, including The Charioteer, have a small but enthusiastic fandom.


Share Your Thoughts

If this is your first time commenting here, please read our Comment Policy. The main points:

  1. No deliberately malicious, abusive, or hateful comments, including but not limited to homophobia, transphobia, biphobia, acephobia, racism, misogyny, outing, doxing, or personal attacks.
  2. Include a trigger warning at the top of your comment if you are discussing potentially triggering topics such as gay bashing, rape, or suicide.


LGBTfiction.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. Learn more