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Set in fourth-century B.C. Greece, The Mask of Apollo is narrated by Nikeratos, a tragic actor who takes with him on all his travels a gold mask of Apollo, a relic of the theater's golden age, which is now past. At first his mascot, the mask gradually becomes his conscience, and he refers to it his gravest decisions, when he finds himself at the center of a political crisis in which the philosopher Plato is also involved. Much of the action is set in Syracuse, where Plato's friend Dion is trying to persuade the young tyrant Dionysios the Younger to accept the rule of law. Through Nikeratos' eyes, the reader watches as the clash between the two looses all the pent-up violence in the city.
|Publisher:||Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group|
|Edition description:||1st Vintage Books ed|
|Product dimensions:||5.17(w) x 7.97(h) x 0.82(d)|
About the Author
Mary Renault wrote more than 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 well as 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 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 nonfiction books. She died in Cape Town in 1983.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
My daughter and I took a trip to see the ruins of classical Greece. I chose to read "Mask of Apollo" for the trip. It's wonderful! Mary Renault is a master of historical fiction and bringing to life the world of classical Greece. The plot is intriguing, the characters compelling and the detail amazing. Highly recommend.
Though not as famous as some of the author's other novels of ancient Greece, The Mask of Apollo is a great story. Renault brings the world of Greek actors and politics to life with her imagination. I like the way Nikeratos' life spans major historical events and how his world changes in his life.