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Antonia Fraser - Biography

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Since 1969 Antonia Fraser has written nine acclaimed historical works which have been international best-sellers.  She began with MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS (1969) and followed it with CROWELL: OUR CHIEF OF MEN (1973) and CHARLES II (1979).  Three books featuring women’s history came next: THE WEAKER VESSEL: WOMAN’S LOT IN THE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY (1984); THE WARRIOR QUEENS (1988) and THE SIX WIVES OF HENRY VIII (1992).  A study in religious extremism, THE GUNPOWDER PLOT: TERROR AND FAITH IN 1605 (1996) was followed by two books set at the court of Versailles: MARIE ANTOINETTE: THE JOURNEY (2001) and LOVE AND LOUIS XIV: THE WOMEN IN THE LIFE OF THE SUN KING (2006).

Antonia Fraser has also written eight crime novels and two books of short stories featuring Jemima Shore Investigator.  She edits the Kings and Queens of England series for Weidenfeld & Nicolson including her own short illustrated book KING JAMES VI AND I (1974) and the composite volume KINGS AND QUEENS OF ENGLAND (1975).  She has also edited the following anthologies: SCOTTISH LOVE POEMS (1974), LOVE LETTERS (1976), HEROES AND HEROINES (1980) and THE PLEASURE OF READING (1992).

Among the many awards she has received are the Wolfson Award for History; the James Tait Black Prize for Biography; the Crimewriters’ Non-Fiction Gold Dagger; the Franco-British Society Literary Award, and the Norton Medlicott Medallion of the Historical Association.  She was made DBE in 2011 for her services to literature.

Antonia Fraser is the eldest child of the Labour politician and prison reformer Lord Longford and the historical biographer Elizabeth Longford. She has six children by her first marriage to Sir Hugh Fraser MP and eighteen grandchildren. Her most recent book is Must You Go?, celebrating her life with Harold Pinter, who died on Christmas Eve 2008. She lives in London.