The Beloved

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Title: The Beloved
Author(s): Laura Mason
Date(s): 20 July 2004
Length: 3646 words
Genre: wedding night story
Fandom: Mary Renault
External Links: archived on MRF

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"The Beloved" is a short story by Laura Mason based on Mary Renault's 1953 novel The Charioteer. It is set at the end of Chapter Twelve, when Laurie and Ralph have returned to the cottage after the wedding reception for Laurie's mother and her new husband, Mr Straike. Renault skips over the details of their first sexual encounter. Fans, of course, want more detail.


The story was written for the Wedding Night Challenge on maryrenaultfics in July 2004. It was beta'ed by oleander9999 and Britpicked by trianne.

In her Notes, the author says:

For the Wedding Night Challenge, I had the deep misfortune to be writing the same scene maggiehoneybite details so beautifully in her story, Watch One Hour with Me, which is perfect and lyrical and much, much better than this. However, one of our great mods, baranduin, encouraged me to go ahead and post mine, as the world needs more Charioteer fic of the smutty variety.


The story received a number of comments, including the following:

  • "Mmm, it's just a little sea of Ralph/Laurie heaven and it feels positively luxurious!"—comment by baranduin
  • "I finished reading The Charioteer just this morning and the first thing I did was look up your story about it. It was gorgeous. It felt like the novel. [...]"—comment by hanarobi
  • "[...] It's so interesting how the same scene can resonate just a little bit differently in someone else's imagination. I'm so glad to have had a chance to see how this very compelling Ralph/Laurie moment developed in your mind. Ralph was very generous indeed! ;)"—comment by maggiehoneybite
  • "This is very beautiful. When I was 16 and first read this book I didn't mind so much that the reader was given no details about this most important night, I was very inexperienced and probably couldn't have handled any hardcore descriptions of sex. And from what I have read about MR, she was as explicit as she wanted to be, and it was important to her that her characters have a certain privacy...but that's become more difficult to accept as I have gotten older. Now I want to know everything about the characters I love, including, how they make love. So this ficlet is a special gift, thank you! [...]"—comment by cyberducks