HISTORY BOOKS BY ANTONIA FRASER

Perilous Question

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Antonia Fraser, international and bestselling historian, tackles the two-year revolution that totally changed Britain in her new book, The Perilous Question. Fraser brilliantly evokes the key period of pre-Victorian political and social history - the passing of the 1832 Great Reform Bill.

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Perilous Question
Love and Louis XIV

Love and Louis XIV

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Mistresses and wives, mothers and daughters – LOVE AND LOUIS XIV brilliantly explores the relationships which existed between The Sun King and the women in his life. This includes not only Louis XIV's mistresses, principally Louise de La Vallière, Athénaïs de Montespan, and the puritanical Madame de Maintenon, but also the wider story of his relationships with women in general, including his mother Anne of Austria, his two sisters-in-law who were Duchesses d'Orléans in succession, Henriette-Anne and Liselotte, his wayward illegitimate daughters, and lastly...

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Mary Queen of Scots

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Mary Queen of Scots passed her childhood in France and married the Dauphin to become Queen of France at the age of sixteen. Widowed less than two years later, she returned to Scotland as Queen after an absence of thirteen years. Her life then entered its best known phase: the early struggles with John Knox, and the unruly Scottish nobility; the fatal marriage to Darnley and his mysterious death; her marriage to Bothwell, the chief suspect, that led directly to her long English captivity at the hands of Queen Elizabeth; the poignant and...

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Mary Queen of Scots
Cromwell: Our Chief of Men

Cromwell: Our Chief of Men

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No Englishman has made more impact on the history of his nation than Oliver Cromwell; few have been so persistently maligned in the folklore of history. The central purpose of Antonia Fraser's book is the recreation of his life and character, freed from the distortions of myth and Royalist propaganda. Cromwell was a man of contradictions and surprising charm. The ruthless Psalm-singing General of the battlefields was also a country gentleman who, after his victory at Worcester, paused to hawk in the fields nearby; the most decisive and...

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King Charles II

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Following a youth of poverty and bitter exile after his father’s execution, the ousted king first challenged, then made his magnificent escape from, Cromwell’s troops before he was eventually restored to his throne in triumph in 1660. Spanning his life both before and after the Restoration, Antonia Fraser’s lively and fascinating biography captures all the vitality of the man and the expansiveness of the age...

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The Weaker Vessel

The Weaker Vessel

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Just how weak were the women of the Civil War era? What could they expect beyond marriage and childbirth in an age where infant and maternal mortality was frequent and contraception unknown? Did anyone marry for love? Could a woman divorce? What rights had the unmarried? What expectations the widows? An expert on the period, Antonia Fraser brings to life the many and various women she has encountered in her considerable research: governesses, milkmaids, fishwives, nuns, defenders of castles, courtesans, countesses, witches and...

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The Warrior Queens

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Antonia Fraser’s Warrior Queens are those women who have both ruled and led in war. They include Catherine the Great, Elizabeth I, Isabella of Spain, the Rani of Jhansi, and the formidable Queen Jinga of Angola. With Boadicea as the definitive example, her female champions from other ages and civilisations make a fascinating and awesome assembly. Yet if Boadicea’s apocryphal chariot has ensured her place in history, what are the myths that surround the others? And how different are the democratically elected if less regal warrior queens...

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The Warrior Queens

The Six Wives of Henry VIII

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The six wives of Henry VIII - Catherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour, Anna of Cleves, Katherine Howard and Catherine Parr – have become defined in a popular sense not so much by their lives as by the way these lives ended. But, as Antonia Fraser conclusively proves, they were rich and feisty characters. They may have been victims of Henry's obsession with a male heir, but they were not willing victims. On the contrary, they displayed considerable strength and intelligence at a time when their sex supposedly possessed little of either...

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The Gunpowder Plot

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With a narrative that grips the reader like a detective story, Antonia Fraser brings the characters and events of the Gunpowder Plot to life. Dramatically recreating the conditions and motives that surrounded the fateful night of 5 November 1605, she unravels the tangled web of religion and politics that spawned the plot...

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Marie Antoinette

Marie Antoinette

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Marie Antoinette’s dramatic life-story continues to arouse mixed emotions. To many people, she is still ‘la reine méchante’, whose extravagance and frivolity helped to bring down the French monarchy; her indifference to popular suffering epitomised by the (apocryphal) words: ‘let them eat cake’. Others are equally passionate in her defence: to them, she is a victim of misogyny. Antonia Fraser examines her influence over the king, Louis XVI, the accusations and sexual slurs made against her, her patronage of the arts which enhanced French cultural life...

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