Mary Renault

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Better to have loved a short man than never to have loved a tall.
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Go with your fate, but not beyond. Beyond leads to dark places.

Mary Renault (born Mary Challans, 4 September 190513 December 1983) was an English writer best known for her historical novels set in ancient Greece.


  • How can people trust the harvest, unless they see it sown?
  • Go with your fate, but not beyond. Beyond leads to dark places.
    • The Bull from the Sea (1962)
  • In hatred as in love, we grow like the thing we brood upon. What we loathe, we graft into our very soul.
    • The Mask of Apollo (1966)
  • You can make an audience see nearly anything, if you yourself believe in it.
    • The Mask of Apollo (1966)
  • It is bitter to lose a friend to evil, before one loses him to death.


  • If one examines the legend in this light, a well-defined personality emerges. It is that of a light-weight; brave and aggressive, physically tough and quick; highly sexed and rather promiscuous; touchily proud, but with a feeling for the underdog; resembling Alexander in his precocious competence, gift of leadership, and romantic sense of destiny.
    • On her portrayal of Theseus in her books.
  • Miss Searle had always considered boredom an intellectual defeat.
  • Money buys many things... The best of which is freedom.
  • The perpetual stream of human nature is formed into ever-changing shallows, eddies, falls and pools by the land over which it passes.

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