The Nature of Alexander Paperback – 1 Mar 2005
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The acclaimed biography of Alexander the Great.
About the Author
MARY RENAULThas 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 isher 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."
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Top Customer Reviews
Renault's volume is very readable. In factual substance, it seems to my unscholarly eyes to be pretty much the same as Green's. I certainly didn't learn significantly more about Alexander from the former than the latter, though that portion of Renault's narrative concerning Alexander's death was fleshed out a bit more. Renault, however, strikes me as a much more sympathetic biographer. Whether this adds more truth to her version is, and will remain, indeterminable by me.
In balance, I think I would choose and recommend Green's biography for the simple reason that he includes over a dozen route maps and battle plans that help the reader put Alexander's accomplishments in better perspective. Renault provides none at all, and the absence of such is a significant omission, in my opinion. Alexander led his Macedonians from the north of Greece to the western border of the Indian subcontinent - the edge of his known world - and almost all the way back again. Twenty-five thousand miles in eleven years! It isn't until you see this plotted on a map of the region that the remarkable accomplishment can be appreciated.
THE NATURE OF ALEXANDER reinforced my opinion that Alexander was the greatest military commander of all time and the most charismatic and successful leader of men who's ever lived. At one point, just prior to marching homeward from India, Alexander was gravely wounded by an arrow that penetrated his lung.Read more ›
Having said that, this is a very enjoyable & well written book & was actually one of the first books I ever read on the subject.
If you want an in depth serious look at Alexander & his times then it is probably best to avoid this book, but as an introduction to the subject I can recommend it unreservedly.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Wonderful history by a lady with a feel for the period. A work of love.Published 22 months ago by D. Warrington
Bought as a present for my lover, he thinks it's marvellous, so every one is happy. Recommended to any Mary Renault fan.Published on 7 Jan. 2014 by Neeny
Mary Renault clearly admired and had a great deal of affection for Alexander. And knew the subject, as you'd expect if you've read her Alexander trilogy. Read morePublished on 10 Sept. 2012 by Karl
Mary Renault does injustice to this hero of a man. While her information and grasp of the life of Alexander is very good, I found it extremely difficult to read, and I have two... Read morePublished on 2 Nov. 2001
I hate this book. My school asigned this book. It is an extreamly diffcult book to read. It is not a book, it is like a history text book!Published on 2 Sept. 1999