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12 October 2021

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St Hugh’s announces the winners of the Mary Renault Prize 2021

This year we again had an excellent selection of essays on many different aspects of classical reception, with a strong international field. The first prize was awarded to Olivér Csákány, Milestone Institute, Budapest, for his essay ‘Uranian Literature and Pastoral Poetry; or, Edward Cracroft Lefroy’s Echoes from Theocritus’. The winner of the second prize was Sophia Santos-Pearcy, Tanglin Trust School, Singapore, for her essay ‘Orpheus, Prince of the Slums: Brazil, Blackness, and Bossa Nova’. The third prize was shared between Tiger Huffingley, Caldicot School, Monmouthshire, and Lily Towers, Hayesfield Girls’ School and Mixed Sixth Form, Bath. Their topics were ‘Dalí and Ovid’s Echoes of Narcissus’ and ‘Heroism, Human Agency and the Monstrous: The Reception of Theseus and the Minotaur in Dark (2017)’ respectively. The prize-winners were all in year 12. They were invited to tea in College together with other commended entrants and some of the entrants for the Julia Wood Prize.

The Mary Renault Prize is a Classical Reception essay prize for school or college sixth form pupils, awarded by the Principal and Fellows of St Hugh’s College, and funded by the royalties from Mary Renault’s novels.

The Principal and Fellows of St Hugh’s College offer two or more Prizes, worth up to £300 each, for essays on classical reception or influence submitted by pupils who, at the closing date, have been in the Sixth Form of any school or college for a period of not more than two years. The prizes are in memory of the author Mary Renault, who is best known for her historical novels set in ancient Greece, recently reissued by Virago. Mary Renault read English at St Hugh’s in the 1920s and subsequently taught herself ancient Greek.

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