|Fandom/s:||Forever Knight, Mary Renault|
|You can find me at:||http://www.foreverknight.org/FK4 (my website)|
|On Fanlore:||My contributions / email me|
I've been a fan most of my life, without ever contacting organized fandom (or knowing how to!) until my old computer crashed in 2004. Off in that pre-Internet world, I'd done a little Star Trek writing: I'd even learned how to write scripts, and submitted a couple to Paramount (not that they bought them, of course). However, it was Forever Knight that really got me writing.
Why FK? I honestly think that, as much as anything, it was the fact that it was so darned hard to find. I'd heard there was going to be such a series, but totally missed the first season because I never spotted it in the TV Guide. When the second season did get mentioned, it started late and got taken off early; it was the middle of the summer before I realized that there was a Buffalo station that carried it in the wee hours. Even they pre-empted it a couple of times. Re-runs on Showcase only started a year after cancellation; and they kept changing the time slot. So FK had scarcity value.
Then there was "Last Knight". Like so many others, my first FK fic was a Last Knight Story. However, I wrote it as a script—in fact, as an alternative to the actual finale (rather than a way to reverse the tragedy). It came easily, so I wrote more. (You can find the details here, if you're interested.)
In 2004, I used my new Internet-capable computer to start surfing the web in search of sites relating to my various interests. Forever Knight came pretty near the top of the list; so I joined ForKNI-L and browsed www.fkfanfic.com. When I decided to "give back" to the community in return for all their stories I'd read, I got some books, learned how to HTML, and wrote a website of my own in order that other people could read the virtual season I'd written.
Of course, I needed pictures to pretty it up. I turned to two screen capture archives, Forever Knight Episode Archives and Knight Vision, and got permission from their owners; and, when these collections proved inadequate, one of the owners offered to make me some more that I needed. Round about the time that she started to wonder if my wish list would ever stop, she got interested in redoing her site with new screen captures from the DVDs. I gave her a bit of a hand, though the main work was hers: the end result is the FK portion of The Knight Watchman.
In 2008, Susan M. Garrett decided to lay out an FK section for the Fan History Wiki; and, having sketched out the structure, went to ForKNI-L for help. I was one of those who responded. When the controversy that summer led her to leave, I followed. We ported our pages over to the little, tiny Forever Knight Wiki that Kodia had started. Susan focused on fan stuff (fanzines, fan fiction, fan history); I mostly worked on pages relating to the series; Kodia added bits here and there, and did the techie stuff. On the whole, as they've drifted in and out (and, alas, Susan died in 2010), I guess I've done the biggest share of work on the wiki. At this point, it's got moderately large—but there's still plenty more to be done. It's an on-going labour of love.
Meanwhile, browsing Yuletide stories led me to the Mary Renault community at maryrenaultfics. I joined quite quickly, since they were about to start a discussion of one of my favourite books, The Charioteer. This lasted for a few months, and got very intense and detailed as we debated the implications of the changes the author made for the American edition—major changes that cut about 15% of the book—and then spiralled out to discuss the novel as a whole. I've been active in the community ever since, participating in various small challenges and group activities, and doing some fic writing. In particular, I've done a fair bit in the ITOWverse, along with my sister (and other stalwarts of the community).
I had several things planned for the maryrenaultfics 5YO celebrations in the summer of 2009; but these got interrupted by Yahoo!—or, more precisely, by what one friend calls the "Great GeoCities Goodbye". With a couple of other people, a plan was put together to save as many FK GeoCities sites as possible, starting with the faction and War sites, which we felt could reasonably be considered community property. In the end, about 50 sites were saved and placed in the Forever Knight Website Archive. My own was one of them—which makes it an odd "archive" since the site is still active. (I have FTP access.) In fact, several sites were restored before uploading; one had to be completely reconstituted (and is not the same as any previous version); and one of the website owners asked to rewrite her site before we uploaded it, and did a major overhaul. It should maybe be added that all was done openly, with updates on ForKNI-L so that the community could know how we were doing. As far as we are concerned, the sites never changed ownership, just shifted to a new server.
In 2010, I took part in the FK Fic Fest ficathon on LiveJournal, which got me writing again. So, on top of assorted wiki-work, I began HTMLing my fan fiction. This is something I've done ever since, making individual pages for each story. As well, the Forever Knight-specific fan fiction exchange made me realize that I can write to someone else's prompts. My sister had enjoyed doing Yuletide; and in 2011 led me through sign-ups so I could avoid making obvious n00b mistakes. I not only wrote my assignment but also several treats; and, since then, exchange fandom has well and truly caught me. In fact, I nowadays find it hard to write without a deadline (though I did write a series of FK ficlets in 2020 to keep myself busy during the early days of the pandemic). However, with the FORKNI-L list so quiet and maryrenaultfics sadly defunct at the start of 2015, writing for exchanges is now a major part of my fannish activity. As a result, I've dabbled in many different nonce fandoms, writing treats for fascinating prompts. A few of these fandoms (MASH and Swallows and Amazons, for example) have wound up my go-to "extra" offers to fill the slate when signing up, since I know the characters well. More recently, my comic book habit has translated into an addiction to the CW Arrowverse shows, particularly The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow; so I've been writing in those fandoms also. One thing about being fannishly inclined, one need never be at a loss for things to do.
I may at one time have had no intention of getting deep into work here at Fanlore; but, in fact, I come and go. Often, I've got too much on my plate. However, I have this compulsion to fill in gaps; so, where my main fandoms are concerned, I'm bound to pop in now and then to add a bit more.
List of Characters in Mary Renault's The Charioteer
The following is a partial list of the characters who appear in Mary Renault's novel, The Charioteer. For a fuller list, please see the Character Glossary that was compiled by Greer Watson for the members of the maryrenaultfics LiveJournal community in 2008.
It should be noted that minor characters are often taken up by fans and made the subject of fan fiction. This page will therefore list both major and minor characters, with links to those who have their own pages.
For the sake of clarity, the list has been subdivided.
- Laurie Odell (full name: Laurence Patrick Odell; nickname: Spud) — Corporal in the British army, wounded in the leg at Dunkirk. Recovering in an Emergency Medical Services (EMS) hospital in the country near Bridstow. Age twenty-three. Protagonist.
- Andrew Raynes — Quaker and conscientious objector, working at the EMS hospital in the ward where Laurie Odell is a patient. Age nineteen.
- Ralph Lanyon (full name Ralph Ross Lanyon)— Lieutenant in the RNVR, captain of the ship that brought Laurie back from Dunkirk; later that day he was injured when his ship was sunk, losing part of his left hand. Now being retrained at the naval base outside Bridstow. He attended the same public school as Laurie Odell, and was the Head of School when Laurie was sixteen. Age twenty-six.
Laurie's Personal Background
Laurie's family home is in an English village. After attending public school, he went to Oxford.
- Lucy Odell — Laurie's mother. Separated from her husband when Laurie was nearly five.
- Michael Odell — Laurie's father, deceased. A reporter, Irish; died of drink and pneumonia when Laurie was six.
- Mr Straike (full name: Gareth Straike) — The new vicar in the village where Laurie grew up. A widower courting Laurie's mother, who marries her near the end of the book.
- Aunt Olive — Actually a cousin of Laurie's mother. Unmarried family drudge.
- Mrs Timmings — Mrs Odell's housekeeper.
- Gyp — Laurie's dog, an elderly Airedale terrier.
- Charles Fosticue — A friend of Laurie's from Oxford before the war, who tried to introduce him to the local gay student scene. Played a significant off-scene role.
- Colonel Ramsay — Indian Army colonel who courted Mrs Odell during Laurie's teens.
- Babs Whitely— A relative of Mr Straike's, who comes to the wedding. One of the few young people at the reception. In the Wrens.
Other family members: Edward Lethbridge (Laurie's great-uncle on his mother's side); Raymond (Mrs Odell's only brother, who died at Gallipoli)
Laurie was a boarder at an (unnamed) English public school.
- Hazell — A student at Laurie's school who instigates a scandal that causes Ralph Lanyon to be expelled.
- Mr Jepson (nicknames: Jeepers to the boys, Mumps to his old schoolmates) — Laurie's new house master.
- Hugh Treviss — A senior student at Laurie's school, Lanyon's contemporary. He coached Laurie in the fencing bout in Hamlet, but was replaced by Lanyon when he got ill.
Others at the school: the Head (headmaster), Mr Stuart (Laurie's old housemaster, replaced by Mr Jepson), Carter and Harris (boys who share a study with Laurie), Somers (another of Laurie's contemporaries), Barnes, J.B. (a younger boy)
E.M.S. Hospital - Patients and Relatives
The Emergency Medical Services (E.M.S.) hospital is located in the country a few miles outside Bridstow. It's a mere rectangle of temporary huts linked by covered asphalt paths, with a grassy area in the centre. Laurie is in Ward B.
- Reg Barker — Lance-corporal in the British Army, wounded in the arm at Dunkirk. His stretcher was beside Laurie's on the beach, and he's in the next bed.
- Madge Barker — Wife of Reg Barker. Has bleached blonde hair with dark roots, and a genteel attitude covering a blatant sexual interest in other men.
- Charlot — Middle-aged French fisherman, who suffered head injuries when the Germans attacked his family's fishing boat. In the next bed to Laurie on the other side from Reg Barker. Speaks little English.
- Neames — In Ward B. He worked in a bank before the war. Lower middle class with aspirations.
- Willis — In Ward B. Borderline retarded, congenital syphilitic. He lost a hand to a grenade to an accident during training.
E.M.S. Hospital - Staff, Orderlies, and Others
The orderlies are all Quakers who are conscientious objectors (c.o.s) doing orderly work as alternative service.
- Nurse Adrian — Newly trained nurse at the EMS hospital. Her brother, Bill, is a P.O.W.
- Dave — The unofficial leader of the conscientious objectors working as orderlies at the EMS hospital. Fiftyish. He was also a volunteer ambulance worker in World War I. His wife, Cynthia, is killed in air raid in London partway through the book.
- Derek — A c.o. working as an orderly at the EMS hospital. Short, shy, weedy man with a small, licked down moustache. About twenty six.
- Nurse Sims — The Night Nurse on Ward B, Laurie's ward at the EMS hospital.
- Major Ferguson — Commanding officer at the EMS hospital. The surgeon who operated on Laurie's leg.
- Matron — Chief of Nursing
- Mrs Chivers — Elderly lady who owns a cottage near the hospital, and lets patients visit her orchard, though few do, since she is an evangelical Christian and keeps handing out tracts.
Bridstow Gay Scene
- Sandy Reid (full name Alexander Reid) — Medical student. Laurie first sees him when Sandy goes on rounds at the EMS Hospital. Alec Deacon's boyfriend, and very possessive.
- Alec Deacon (full name Alexander Deacon) — Medical student at the City Hospital. Currently Sandy Reid's boyfriend; but he was once Ralph Lanyon's lover, and remains friends.
- Bunny — Ralph Lanyon's current boyfriend, sharing rented rooms with him in Bridstow. An instructor at the naval station. (NOTE: "Bunny" is a nickname. His full name is never given.)
- Bim Taylor — Flight lieutenant in the Royal Air Force. A small, handsome man with a crush on Ralph Lanyon. Laurie meets him at Alec Deacon's birthday party. (NOTE: "Bim" is a nickname.)
Others in the gay scene: Harry (middle-aged, well-dressed man who drinks heavily and picks up sailors), Claude's bit of rent (unnamed guest at Alec Deacon's birthday party; a soldier, rather drunk, who tries to warn Laurie to leave the party), Toto Phelps (Bunny's new boyfriend after Ralph moves out)
Other Canon Characters
About two-thirds of the way through the book, Laurie is transferred to the City Hospital in Bridstow. Near the end of the book, Andrew is transferred to work in the Friends' Ambulance Brigade in London.
- Miss Haliburton — Physiotherapist at the City Hospital who treats Laurie's leg. Grey-haired, middle-aged.
- Mervyn — The patient in the bed next to Laurie. A boy recovering from peritonitis after an emergency appendectomy. His mother is a slatternly woman who lies to shield her son from the severity of his illness.
- Tom — A conscientious objector living in the house in London where the ambulance workers are living.
- Patch - A bull terrier owned by Laurie and Ralph post-novel, named for a patch of colour over one eye.
- Christoper - A gay friend involved with adult!Barnes.