Guide The Antonia Fraser Collection

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My History is full of contradictions like this that hint at harsher undertones. On the other hand, her parents rarely seemed to care, sometimes even to notice, what she did.

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Like many clever children of indifferent or neglectful parents, Fraser responded by living largely in her mind and her imagination. She learned to read properly at four with Our Island Story , sowing the seeds of a phenomenally successful future career as a historical biographer. History became ever after her refuge and her wonderland.

Fraser learned early in life to blank out sources of dismay. Her siblings barely figure in My History , except for her brother Thomas, who was 11 months younger and in some ways an alter ego. In spite of, or perhaps owing to, their closeness, she retains no memories of his succumbing in to a polio epidemic from which he emerged, aged four, wearing a leather-and-steel contraption to support his neck and side. An answering toughness was compounded in his sister by charm, looks and unbudgeable determination.


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When their mother declined to arrange her presentation at court, Antonia brought herself out, wangling her way on to debutante guest lists, making her own ball gowns and chaperoning herself at dances. Why do so many of your subjects come to such gruesome ends, I ask? This is for me.

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We both ought to be in a museum. And I use Sellotape and scissors. So just how could she have juggled the demands on her time back in , and yet still manage to write such an iconic book? I allowed no one to disturb me between 9. The books of which she is most proud are The Weaker Vessel , about the lot of women in 17th-century England, which won the Wolfson Prize, and the revisionist Gunpowder Plot. How closely was the latter infused by her Catholicism?

By contrast, she is particularly proud of her friendships with a talented new generation of female writers such as Amanda Foreman, Lisa Hilton, Jessie Childs, Ruth Scurr and Leonie Frieda, who might almost be termed the Antonia Fraser school of historical biography. I ask whether she has ever been tempted to write literary biography.

The life of the bewitching Lady Antonia Fraser

Fraser ascribes the improvement in the writing of British biography to the late Sixties when the children educated under the Butler Education Act began to demand books with proper scholarly apparatus such as footnotes as well as closer intellectual argument, and not just a strong narrative. Love puzzles?


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Get the best at Telegraph Puzzles. Books on Amazon. A collection of the best contributions and reports from the Telegraph focussing on the key events, decisions and moments in Churchill's life. She also has written detective novels ; the most popular involved a character named Jemima Shore and were adapted into a television series which aired in the UK in More recently, Fraser published The Warrior Queens , the story of various military royal women since the days of Boadicea and Cleopatra.

She chronicled the life and times of Charles II in a well-reviewed eponymous biography. Fraser's memoir Must You Go?

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She is no longer planning a biography of Queen Elizabeth I , as this subject has already been extensively covered. Fraser acknowledges she is "less interested in ideas than in 'the people who led nations and so on. I don't think I could ever have written a history of political thought or anything like that. I'd have to come at it another way. From until their divorce in , she was married to Sir Hugh Fraser — , a descendant of Scottish aristocracy 14 years her senior and a Roman Catholic Conservative Unionist MP in the House of Commons sitting for Stafford , who was a friend of the American Kennedy family.

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All three daughters are writers and biographers. Warburg in Mexico , and Orlando Fraser is a barrister specializing in commercial law Wroe. Fairley, a neighbour of the Frasers, had been walking his dog, when he noticed something amiss and stopped to examine the bomb. In , she began an affair with playwright Harold Pinter , who was then married to the actress Vivien Merchant.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Lady Antonia Fraser. Hugh Fraser m. Harold Pinter m. Antonia Fraser's voice.