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Nov 29, 2016
| ISBN 9781101910214
Oct 13, 2015
| ISBN 9780385540117
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Nov 29, 2016 | ISBN 9781101910214
Oct 13, 2015 | ISBN 9780385540117
Lady Antonia Fraser—novelist, historian, daughter of progressive aristocrats, and Dame of the British Empire—first fell in love with history in 1936 at the age of five, when she received a copy of H. E. Marshall’s Our Island Story for Christmas. The book sparked a passion that, thirty years later, inspired her to write the acclaimed biography Mary, Queen of Scots. In these pages, Fraser turns her biographical skills inward to capture her own remarkable life story. From her idyllic early childhood to a wartime evacuation to North Oxford; from her education at a Catholic convent to holidays spent at Dunsany Castle and Pakenham Hall; from her days working in publishing to a turf battle with her mother over who would write about the Queen of Scots, My History is a singular, heartfelt memoir—and a love letter to a British way of life that has all but disappeared.
The acclaimed New York Times bestselling author shares vivid memories of her childhood and recalls the experiences that set her on the path to a writing life. Ever since she received Our Island Story by H. E. Marshall as a Christmas present in 1936, Antonia Fraser’s deep love of history has been a constant in her remarkable life. The book made such an impression that it inspired her to write Mary, Queen of Scots thirty years later. Born into British aristocracy, the author’s idyllic early childhood was interrupted by a wartime evacuation to North Oxford. The relocation had profound effects on her life, not the least of which was her education at a Catholic convent and her eventual conversion from the Protestant faith to Catholicism. Her memories of holidays spent at Dunsany Castle and Pakenham Hall, a stint as “Miss Tony” selling hats in a London department store, and her early days working in publishing are all told in her singular, irresistible voice. My History is a heartfelt memoir that is also a love letter to a British way of life that has all but disappeared. Anglophiles, history lovers, and Downton Abbey fans are sure to be enthralled.
Antonia Fraser is the author of many internationally bestselling historical works, including Love and Louis XIV; Marie Antoinette, which was made into a film by Sofia Coppola; The Wives of Henry VIII; and Mary Queen of Scots. She is also… More about Antonia Fraser
“Amiable and engaging. . . . As vivid and character-rich as her popular histories.” —The Washington Post “The history of a writer’s love affair with her vocation. . . . Elicit[s] warm fellow feeling even in readers themselves who are nothing like a dame.” —The New York Times Book Review“Reading My History, I felt I was sitting at Ms. Fraser’s dinner table in London, listening to the reminiscences and anecdotes of a grande dame.” —Moira Hodgson, The Wall Street Journal “A fascinating account. . . . A book that ends, as it began, in wonderland.” —The Guardian (London)“Hugely enjoyable.” —The Times (London) “Antonia Fraser, through both advantages of birth and strength of character, is one of those rare human beings who has managed to live a long, eventful life that has been both charmed and charming. . . . My History will certainly bring readers closer to Antonia Fraser. And the closer they get, the more most of them will like this willful, winning and very talented lady.” —The Washington Times “Engaging and elegiac.” —Financial Times “A witty, perambulating memoir of youth and early adulthood. . . . Nuanced and emotionally oblique in a most English fashion, [My History] offers a textured glimpse into a bygone era.” —Publishers Weekly “Engaging. . . . This autobiographical journey is distinguished by Fraser’s contagious enthusiasm for all things historical, including her own remarkable past.” —Booklist “Will amuse and delight memoir lovers interested in upper-class British life of the mid-twentieth century.” —Library Journal
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