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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.
The bestselling historian's biography of a decisive figure in England's history.
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. This decisive and ruthless commander was also a country gentleman and a passionate connoisseur of music. Of Cromwell's fitness for high office, this fascinating biography leaves no doubt. Under his rule English prestige abroad rose to a level unequalled since Elizabeth I, yet his campaign in Ireland has cast a shadow over his reputation.
Antonia Fraser displays great insight into this complex man and reveals a totally unexpected Cromwell, far removed from the received stereotype.
'Ground-breaking ... One of the greatest international bestsellers of the post-war period' Andrew Roberts, Daily Telegraph
'Reads like an engrossing novel' Sunday Times
An infant queen. A teenage widow. Beautiful, flamboyant Mary Queen of Scots had a formidable intellect but her political sense - formed at the absolute court of France - plunged her country into a maelstrom of intrigue, marriage and murder. Upon fleeing to England she was held captive by her cousin Elizabeth I. In this classic biography, reissued for the fiftieth anniversary of its publication, acclaimed historian Antonia Fraser relates the enthralling story of Mary's life and untimely end.
'Drama, betrayal, religion and sex, it's all here ... Fascinating' GUARDIAN
'Beautifully paced, impeccably written ... Don't miss it' INDEPENDENT
'Fraser is at her best here, lucid, authoritative and compassionate' SUNDAY TIMES
'Superbly researched ... the definitive work on the ill-fated queen' CATHOLIC HERALD
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, her imprisonment, the death threats made against her, rumours of lesbian affairs, her trial (during which her young son was forced to testify to sexual abuse by his mother) and her eventual execution by guillotine in 1793.
Antonia Fraser's bestselling account of the lives of women in seventeenth-century England.
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 widows.
A unique testimony to modern literature's most celebrated and enduring marriage.
'I first saw Harold across a crowded room, but it was lunchtime, not some enchanted evening, and we did not speak.'
When Antonia Fraser met Harold Pinter she was a celebrated biographer and he was Britain's finest playwright. Both were already married - Pinter to the actress Vivien Merchant and Fraser to the politician Hugh Fraser - but their union seemed inevitable from the moment they met: 'I would have found you somehow', Pinter told Fraser. Their relationship flourished until Pinter's death on Christmas Eve 2008 and was a source of delight and inspiration to them both until the very end.
Fraser uses her Diaries and her own recollections to tell a touching love story. But this is also a memoir of a partnership between two of the greatest literary talents, with fascinating glimpses into their creativity and their illustrious circle of friends from the literary, political and theatrical world.
Antonia Fraser's bestselling biography of Henry VIII's six wives; a subject of enduring fascination.
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.
An atmospheric and gripping mystery set in Oxford - perfect for fans of MORSE and ENDEAVOUR
Lord Saffron, one of the young bloods at Oxford University, is heir to a considerable fortune.
But while making a documentary about the exotic lifestyles of the university's over-privileged set, Jemima Shore discovers that this handsome young man, with his lavish dances and sumptuous weekend parties, is not quite what he seems.
And when a student is murdered and a series of attempts are made on Saffron's life, Jemima realises that she has started a terrible chain of events...
The story of Catholic Emancipation begins with the violent Anti-Catholic Gordon Riots in 1780, fuelled by the reduction in Penal Laws against the Roman Catholics harking back to the sixteenth century. Some fifty years later, the passing of the Emancipation Bill was hailed as a 'bloodless revolution'.
Had the Irish Catholics been a 'millstone', as described by an English aristocrat, or were they the prime movers? While the English Catholic aristocracy and the Irish peasants and merchants approached the Catholic Question in very different ways, they manifestly shared the same objective.
Antonia Fraser brings colour and humour to the vivid drama with its huge cast of characters: George III, who opposed Emancipation on the basis of the Coronation Oath; his son, the indulgent Prince of Wales, who was enamoured with the Catholic Maria Fitzherbert before the voluptuous Lady Conyngham; Wellington and the 'born Tory' Peel vying for leadership; 'roaring' Lord Winchilsea; the heroic Daniel O'Connell. Expertly written and deftly argued, The King and Catholics is also a distant mirror of our times, reflecting the political issues arising from religious intolerance.
Remember, remember, the Fifth of November ...
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.
'An excellent book which unravels the whole story of the plot' Literary Review
'Told with impressive scholarship and panache ... with a sense of pace and tension worthy of a John le Carré novel' Sunday Telegraph
'The screams came again: by now they sounded quite blood-curdling to the girl alone in the small room - or was it that they were getting nearer?'
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.
There are five Jemima Shore stories including the first ever Jemima Shore mystery in which the fifteen-year-old Jemima is confronted by blood-curdling screams and miraculous moving statues in the dead of night.
Jemima is at her sparkling best as she solves the case of the Parr children in a remote corner of the Scottish Highlands and elegantly deals with a missing bride on a romantic Venetian honeymoon.