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Antonia Fraser

From Academic Kids

The Lady Antonia Fraser (born August 27, 1932) is a British author of history and novels, best known for writing biographies. She is the daughter of the Earl and Countess of Longford, who were both eminent writers. As the daughter of an Earl, she is entitled to the style "Lady."

Contents

Life and Career

Lady Antonia was educated at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford. Her first major work was Mary, Queen of Scots (1969). She followed it up with various other biographies, including Cromwell, Our Chief of Men (1973). She won the Wolfson History Award in 1984 for The Weaker Vessel, a study of women's lives in 17th century England. She was President of English PEN from 1988-99, and was Chairman of its Writers in Prison Committee.

In addition, she writes detective novels, with the most popular involving a character named Jemima Shore. A television series based on these stories was aired in the UK in 1983.

More recently, Lady Antonia published Warrior Queens, the story of various military royal women since the days of Boadicea and Cleopatra. In 1992 she published The Six Wives of Henry VIII. It was published only a year after Alison Weir's book of the same title, though academics felt that Fraser's work was the more impartial.

Fraser later published The Gunpowder Plot: Terror and Faith in 1605. Her most recent work is an acclaimed and in-depth biography of France's last legitimate queen, Marie Antoinette. Marie-Antoinette: The Journey is apparently being adapted for film by Sofia Coppola, with the title role being played by Kirsten Dunst.

In 1956 Lady Antonia married Hugh Fraser, MP when she found out she was pregnant with his child. A Roman Catholic, she caused a public scandal in 1977 by leaving her husband for playwright Harold Pinter. Pinter's then-wife, actress Vivien Merchant, spoke publicly of her three-in-a-bed sessions and made cutting remarks to the press about Fraser's inability to keep both Merchant and Pinter satisfied, including the famous comment that "Fraser suffered from 'premature ejaculation syndrome'." Fraser and Pinter married in 1980 and they live in Holland Park, west London.

Her daughter, Flora Fraser, is also a historical biographer.

Bibliography

Non Fiction Works

  • Mary, Queen of Scots (1969)
  • Dolls (1973)
  • Cromwell: our Chief of Men (1973)
  • King James VI and I
  • The Lives of the Kings and Queens of England
  • Royal Charles: Charles II and the Restoration (published in Britain as "Charles II")
  • The Weaker Vessel (1984)
  • King Arthur and the Knights of the Roundtable
  • Boadicea's Chariot: Warrior Queens (1988)
  • The Six Wives of Henry VIII (1992)
  • Faith and Treason : The Story of the Gunpowder Plot (1996)
  • Marie-Antoinette: The Journey (2002)

Jemima Shore Series

Anthologies

  • Scottish Love Poems
  • Love Letters
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