Far from all intentional ill-doing

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Title: Far from all intentional ill-doing
Author(s): Jane Carnall
Date(s): 25 December 2008
Length: 3441 words
Genre: backstory
Fandom: Mary Renault
External Links: archived on Yuletide

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"Far from all intentional ill-doing" is a short story by Jane Carnall based on Mary Renault's 1953 novel The Charioteer. It hits the highlights of the relationship between Ralph Lanyon and Alec Deacon, starting when the two first meet prior to the main action of the book.

The story comprises five scenes at different stages of Alec's relationship with Ralph. It opens at a party given by Harry (a minor canonical character), where the two pick each other up. Afterwards, Ralph tells Alec about his expulsion from school. Ultimately, the stresses in their relationship cause the two to separate. However, they meet again after Dunkirk, when Ralph tells Alec about Laurie—who then turns up at Alec's birthday party.


"Far from all intentional ill-doing" was written for queen_ypolita in the Yuletide 2008 Challenge.


The story was well received, with a number of favourable comments, including the following:

  • "You've fulfilled a lot of Charioteer fans' wishes for the story of Ralph and Alec, and you've done it very nicely. I enjoyed the references to Alec catting around during both his relationships. And the breakup with Ralph coming about because of his offer to support him was just pitch-perfect, to me. Thanks very much for such a loving look at Alec's role in the book." — comment by Lorie
  • "I rather like your Alec here; he's perhaps a little more comfortable in the "scene" than I generally think of him being, but you make it very plausible for me. I like his relationship with Ralph a lot, too; they're both good people, even if they don't go so well together. [...]" — comment by wychwood
  • "I really, really liked this story. I've always wondered about a possible scenario for how Alec met Ralph. Loved the characterizations (actually adore thinking about both Ralph and Alec for a whole series of different reasons and you didn't disappoint me here); loved Alec's POV. Very satisfying. [...]" — comment by oshun
  • "You have the Mary Renault characterization style down perfectly, and this is so quiet and realistic that I feel that things must have gone just like it between Ralph and Alec." — comment by Assimbya