- Publish Date: 2003-05-13
- Binding: Paperback
- Author: Mary Renault
After enduring an injury at Dunkirk during World War II, Laurie Odell is sent to a rural veterans hospital in England to convalesce. There he befriends the young, bright Andrew, a conscientious objector serving as an orderly. As they find solace and companionship together in the idyllic surroundings of the hospital, their friendship blooms into a discreet, chaste romance. Then one day, Ralph Lanyon, a mentor from Lauries schoolboy days, suddenly reappears in Lauries life, and draws him into a tight-knit social circle of world-weary gay men. Laurie is forced to choose between the sweet ideals of innocence and the distinct pleasures of experience.
Originally published in the United States in 1959, The Charioteer is a bold, unapologetic portrayal of male homosexuality during World War II that stands with Gore Vidals The City and the Pillar and Christopher Isherwoods Berlin Stories as a monumental work in gay literature.