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My History: A Memoir of Growing Up

Antonia Fraser

3 Reviews

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Autobiography: literary, Prose: non-fiction

The childhood and early life memoir of Antonia Fraser, one of our finest narrative historians.

Antonia Fraser's magical memoir describes growing up in the 1930s and '40s, but its real concern is with her growing love of history. A fascination that began with reading Our Island Story and her evacuation to an Elizabethan manor house at the beginning of the Second World War soon developed into an enduring passion, becoming, in her own words, 'an essential part of the enjoyment of life'.

MY HISTORY follows Antonia's relationship with her family: she was the eldest of eight children. Her parents Frank and Elizabeth Pakenham, later Lord and Lady Longford, were both Labour politicians. Then there are her adventures as a self-made debutante before Oxford University and a fortunate coincidence that leads to her working in publishing. It closes with the publication of her first major historical work, Mary Queen of Scots - a book that became a worldwide bestseller.

Told with inimitable humour and style, this is an unforgettable account of one person's journey towards becoming a writer - and a historian.

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Praise for My History: A Memoir of Growing Up

  • My History, a captivating memoir of her childhood and early youth ... is a delight from start to finish. Antonia Fraser is warm, amusing, intelligent, generous and original. She says that her idea of perfect happiness is to be alone in a room with a house full of people. I can't think of a better way to start the year than to be alone in a room with this book - THE SPECTATOR

  • My History is a hugely enjoyable squishy romp, the literary equivalent of a big crumbling meringue at a society wedding - THE TIMES - Book of the Week

  • Fraser's previous volume of memoir, Must You Go?, an account of her life with Harold Pinter, was acclaimed as a moving love story. In this second instalment, she stands unabashed and alone - wise, self-deprecating and always entertaining. - DAILY TELEGRAPH

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Antonia Fraser

Since 1969, Antonia Fraser has written many acclaimed historical works which have been international bestsellers, including Marie Antoinette, Mary Queen of Scots (James Tait Black Memorial Prize), Cromwell: Our Chief of Men, The Six Wives of Henry VIII and The Gunpowder Plot: Terror and Faith in 1605 (St Louis Literary Award; CWA Non-Fiction Gold Dagger). Antonia Fraser was made CBE in 1999, and awarded the Norton Medlicott Medal by the Historical Association in 2000. She is married to the playwright Harold Pinter and lives in London.

Previous Books:
Mary Queen Of Scots, The Six Wives Of Henry VIII, The Weaker Vessel, King Charles II, Marie Antoinette, Love Letters

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