MARY RENAULT has written over a dozen novels, has had her work adapted for radio, stage, and screeen, and has been the subject of documentaries and biographies. She is as widely known for her forthright treatment of gay relationships as she is her historical restructions of ancient Greece. She was born in London and educated at Oxford. She then trained as a nurse, where she met her lifelong partner Julie Mullard. After during World War II, she and Mullard settled in South Africa and traveled considerably in Africa and Greece. It was at this time that she began writing her historical novels, including The King Must Die, The Last of the Wine, and The Persian Boy. The biography The Nature of Alexander is one of her only non-fiction books. She died in Cape Town in 1983.