2023-24 UofT Classics Departmental Lecture Series
'As one who got it right': Mary Renault, Forty Years On
Ian Storey, Professor Emeritus, Trent University
This December will mark forty years since Mary (Challans) Renault died in Cape Town, South Africa, the country which had been her home since 1948. She left behind her fourteen novels, including the eight historical fictions (1956-1981) which established her reputation as the leading writer of novels set in ancient Greece.
This talk will consider how she and her reputation have fared during these four decades, the considerable influence she has had on later writers both of historical fiction and of fantasy, how some writers have insinuated her into their own works (novels, plays, on-line blogs, musical compositions, dance), and why none of her immensely popular novels was ever made into a film or a television mini-series.
Professor Ian C. Storey came to Classics at Trent in 1974, and he has since become a world-recognized expert in fifth-century BC Old Comedy; an accomplished and prolific author of books and articles, including a widely-used textbook on ancient Greek drama, and this past year’s triumph of a three-volume Loeb edition of Fragments of Old Comedy; a popular and inspiring instructor of courses on Greek and Roman literature, both in the original languages and in translation; a mentor to the Conacher Players Classics Drama Group; an academic and social leader who has served distinct terms as Department Chair, Senior Tutor at three colleges, and Principal of Otonabee College; and a great and generous friend to many… and this list represents only the academic side of the past four decades of his life. Others may instead know him as a baseball coach, a prominent member of his church community, an enthusiast of the works of C.S. Lewis, including a Bibliography for "Till We Have Faces", or as a connoisseur of English pubs.