Mary Renault

From Tolkien Gateway

Mary Renault, née Mary Challans, (4 September 190513 December 1983) was an English author of primarily historical novels.

Renault read English at Oxford, graduating in 1928. She was a student of J.R.R. Tolkien's,[1] though probably just attending his lectures rather than being tutored by him.[2]

Writing to Charlotte and Denis Plimmer on 8 February 1967, Tolkien says that he has been "recently deeply engaged in the books" of Renault, and mentions in particular her works The King Must Die and The Bull from the Sea (both about Theseus). Tolkien also tells the Plimmers that Renault has written Tolkien a card of appreciation, "perhaps the piece of 'Fan-mail' that gives me most pleasure".[3] And writing to his secretary Joy Hill on 25 August 1967, he mentions the fan-letter again (received "not long ago"), and tells Hill that he wonders how Renault would answer a particular question.[4]

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