A New York Times–bestselling novel of the ancient king of Macedon and his lover by the author Hilary Mantel calls “a shining light.” The Persian Boy centers on the most tempestuous years of Alexander the Great’s life, as seen through the eyes of his lover and most faithful attendant, Bagoas. When Bagoas is very young, his father is murdered and he is sold as a slave to King Darius of Persia. Then, when Alexander conquers the land, he is given Bagoas as a gift, and the boy is besotted. This passion comes at a time when much is at stake—Alexander has two wives, conflicts are ablaze, and plots on the Macedon king’s life abound. The result is a riveting account of a great conqueror’s years of triumph and, ultimately, heartbreak. The Persian Boy is the second volume of the Novels of Alexander the Great trilogy, which also includes Fire from Heaven and Funeral Games. This ebook features an illustrated biography of Mary Renault including rare images of the author.
“Mary Renault is a shining light to both historical novelists and their readers. She does not pretend the past is like the present, or that the people of ancient Greece were just like us. She shows us their strangeness; discerning, sure-footed, challenging our values, piquing our curiosity, she leads us through an alien landscape that moves and delights us.” —Hilary Mantel
About the author
Born in London as Eileen Mary Challans in 1905 and educated at the University of Oxford, Mary Renault trained as a nurse at Oxford’s Radcliffe Infirmary. It was there that she met her lifelong partner, fellow nurse Julie Mullard. After completing her training, Renault wrote her first novel, Purposes of Love, in 1937. In 1948, after her novel Return to Night won an MGM prize worth $150,000, she and Mullard immigrated to South Africa. There, Renault wrote the historical novels that would define her career. In 2006, Renault was the subject of a BBC 4 documentary, and her books, many of which remain in print on both sides of the Atlantic, are often sought after for radio and dramatic interpretation. In 2010, Fire From Heaven was shortlisted for the 1970 Lost Booker prize.
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