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Antonia Fraser Book and Novel

Antonia Fraser - Author


Antonia Fraser is the author of many widely acclaimed historical works including the biographies, CROMWELL: OUR CHIEF OF MEN, KING CHARLES II and THE GUNPOWDER PLOT (CWA Non-Fiction Gold Dagger; St Louis Literary Award). She has written five highly praised books which focus on women in history, THE WEAKER VESSEL: WOMEN'S LOT IN SEVENTEENTH-CENTURY ENGLAND (Wolfson Award for History, 1984), THE WARRIOR QUEENS: BOADICEA¿S CHARIOT, THE SIX WIVES OF HENRY VIII, MARIE ANTOINETTE: THE JOURNEY (Franco-British Literary Prize 2001), which was made into a film by Sofia Coppola in 2006 and now most recently LOVE AND LOUIS XIV: THE WOMEN IN THE LIFE OF THE SUN KING. Antonia Fraser was made CBE in 1999, and awarded the Norton Medlicott Medal by the Historical Association in 2000. She lives in London and is currently working on a biography of Queen Elizabeth I. She was married to Harold Pinter who died on Christmas Eve 2008 and has eighteen grandchildren.

Below is a Q&A with this author.

What's the first book you remember reading?
Our Island Story by H. E. Marshall, when I was aged four and a half. I still have the copy, rebound after much use.

Where do you live? And why?
I have lived in the same house in Campden Hill Square since 1959; my six children were brought up here (two of them actually born in the house). I can't imagine living anywhere else.

Where do you write?
In the children's old nursery at the top of the house, rechristened the Eyrie. I couldn't wait to move in when they moved out as it has magnificent views.

Typewriter, word processor or pen?
Ancient electric typewriter (circa 1970) to which I am devoted.

Where were you born and raised?
Although I was born in Sussex Gate, Bayswater (now Ryadh House, I see), I was brought up in Oxford where my father taught at the University.

Did you enjoy school? What is your most vivid memory of your school years?
I loved two out of my three schools, the Dragon School, Oxford, and St Mary's Convent, Ascot, which was the setting for the first Jemima Shore mystery, Quiet as a Nun.

Did you always want to be an author? If not, what did you originally want to be and when and why did you change your mind?
I didn't want to be an author. I just was an author since before memory.

What were the first pieces of writing that you produced? e.g. short stories, school magazine etc. I wrote mock Shakespearean tragedies in verse: I like to think I've got better.

What jobs did you have before you started writing?
I only had one job: working for Weidenfeld & Nicolson and they've published all my non-fiction ever since.

If your house were burning down, what would you save?
My black and white cat Placido – except he'd probably get out first.

Have any of your books been televised or made into films? Who by and when were they screened? The Jemima Shore crime stories were made into two TV series, Quiet as a Nun, starring Maria Aitken, and Jemima Shore Investigates, starring Patricia Hodge. Marie Antoinette has recently been filmed by Sofia Coppola.

What is a typical writing day?
I like to work the whole morning without interruption (in an ideal world!), then time off, for a swim perhaps, and back about 5.00 pm. I never work at night.

What do you do when you are not writing? How do you relax? What are your hobbies? I love reading other people's crime novels to relax.

Have you started your next book? Can you tell us a little bit about it?
I'm going to write about Queen Elizabeth I. I always wanted to look at the other side of the picture since I wrote Mary Queen of Scots nearly 40 years ago and now it's time.

What single thing might people be surprised to learn about you?
I used to play rugger at the Dragon School! My children never believed me and I don't think my grandchildren do. On the wing, not in the scrum.

Featured Books, with extracts, by Antonia Fraser

Jemima Shore at the Sunny Grave A Jemima Shore Mystery by Antonia Fraser
Jemima Shore at the Sunny Grave A Jemima Shore Mystery
Antonia Fraser
An atmospheric and gripping collection of short stories from Lady Antonia Fraser, many of which feature Jemima Shore. A tantalising and varied excursion round motives and methods in the realm of crime.
Format: Paperback - Released: 04/06/2015
Jemima Shore's First Case A Jemima Shore Mystery by Antonia Fraser
Jemima Shore's First Case A Jemima Shore Mystery
Antonia Fraser
From murders and ghostly visitors to devious plots and family feuds, Antonia Fraser's first collection of short stories is a feast of mingled delight and suspense.
Format: Paperback - Released: 04/06/2015
My History A Memoir of Growing Up by Antonia Fraser
My History A Memoir of Growing Up
Antonia Fraser
Suitably for an historian, Antonia Fraser explores her life against her development into a writer and historian, the influences that made her take this path and the strong thread of history woven through her life experienced in family homes and...
Format: Hardback - Released: 08/01/2015
The Perilous Question The Drama of the Great Reform Bill 1832 by Antonia Fraser
The Perilous Question The Drama of the Great Reform Bill 1832
Antonia Fraser
I listened to this on audio and as well as recommending the history itself, I’d thoroughly recommend Sean Barrett’s narration (OrionAudio 9781409129813) as an excellent alternative. For me, and I suspect, for a great many others who learned (badly) The...
Format: Paperback - Released: 08/05/2014
The Six Wives of Henry VIII by Antonia Fraser
The Six Wives of Henry VIII
Antonia Fraser
A Special Edition of The Six Wives of Henry VIII by Antonia Fraser to celebrate Orion's 20th anniversary. The six wives of Henry VIII - Catherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour, Anna of Cleves, Katherine Howard and Catherine...
Format: Paperback - Released: 20/02/2012
Must You Go? My Life with Harold Pinter by Antonia Fraser
Must You Go? My Life with Harold Pinter
Antonia Fraser
One of our Great Reads you may have missed in 2011. March 2011 Non-Fiction Book of the Month. Shortlisted for the Galaxy Non-Fiction Book of the Year 2010.Antonia Fraser’s...
Format: Paperback - Released: 03/03/2011
Must You Go? My Life with Harold Pinter by Antonia Fraser
Must You Go? My Life with Harold Pinter
Antonia Fraser
Shortlisted for the Galaxy Non-Fiction Book of the Year 2010. Antonia Fraser’s memoir of the love story between herself and Harold Pinter, who spent 33 years together, having found each other somewhat later in life. Since 1968 Fraser has...
Format: Paperback - Released: 10/10/2010
Must You Go? My Life with Harold Pinter by Antonia Fraser
Must You Go? My Life with Harold Pinter
Antonia Fraser
This is an unabridged audiobook title. Antonia Fraser’s memoir of the love story between herself and Harold Pinter, who spent 33 years together, having found each other somewhat later in life. Since 1968 Fraser has kept diaries...
Format: CD-Audio - Released: 01/05/2010
Must You Go? My Life with Harold Pinter by Antonia Fraser
Must You Go? My Life with Harold Pinter
Antonia Fraser
Featured on The Book Show on Sky Arts on 25 March 2010. Antonia Fraser’s memoir of the love story between herself and Harold Pinter, who spent 33 years together, having found each other somewhat later in life. Since 1968 Fraser...
Format: Hardback - Released: 11/01/2010
Mary Queen of Scots by Antonia Fraser
Mary Queen of Scots
Antonia Fraser
This is the definitive biography of Mary Queen of Scots. 2009 is the 40th anniversary of the publication of this marvellous biography which reads more like a novel than a factual history book. Packed with fascinating detail about one of...
Format: Paperback - Released: 07/05/2009

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Author Info

Author's Website

www.antoniafraser.com/

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