Author Mary Renault (neé Eileen Mary Challans) was born on this day back in 1905. Renault penned one lesbian romance (The Friendly Young Ladies, 1943), but achieved literary acclaim with her male/male historical fiction, set in Ancient Greece, beginning with The Last of the Wine, published in 1956. Apparently she was so good at writing these relationships that rumors sprung up that she was really a gay male writing under a pseudonym.
Renault and her partner, Julie Mullard, emigrated to South Africa where they were able to be open about their relationship. They also were active in the movement against apartheid.
Remembering Renault and her historical fiction from close to fifty years ago makes us wonder—what was the first same sex romance book you read?