Marie Antoinette's dramatic life-story continues to arouse mixed emotions. To many people, she is still 'la reine mechante', 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.
The self-proclaimed Sun King, Louis XIV, ruled over the most glorious and extravagant court in 17th-century Europe. Now, Antonia Fraser goes behind the well-known tales of Louis' accomplishments and follies, exploring in riveting detail his intimate relationships with women.
More than 400 years after her death, Mary Queen of Scots remains one of the most romantic and controversial figures in British history. Antonia Fraser's classic biography of her won the James Tait Prize when it was first published in 1969. It became an international best-seller and was translated into nine languages.
Antonia Fraser deals with each woman in turn with sympathy - the sympathy they deserve for having had the unenviable fate of being Henry's wife. Inevitably, there was great rivalry between them; there was jealousy too: the desperate jealousy of queens who found themselves abandoned, but also the sexual jealousy of the king who discovered himself betrayed. The story Antonia Fraser tells is romantic and cruel, funny and sad, dramatic and enthralling. This is historical biography at its best.
This magnificent story of 1,000 years of English history is told through the lives and deeds of Kings and Queens, from the Normans to the Windsors. Understand how the power of the crown has changed as a result of both the character and ability of each monarch and evolving historical circumstances. Eight specialist contributors depict the whole spectrum of royal life in a succinct and fascinating way. Newly revised in 1998, this edition offers expanded coverage of the House of Windsor, including recent events that have greatly affected the Royal Family.
The story of Catholic Emancipation begins with the Anti-Catholic Gordon Riots in 1780, fuelled by a reduction in Penal Laws against Catholics harking back to the 16th century. Fifty years later, the passing of the Emancipation Bill was hailed as a 'bloodless revolution'. Yet, had the Irish Catholics been a 'millstone', or were they the prime movers?
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 November 5th 1605, she unravels the tangled web of religion and politics that spawned the plot.
Antonia Fraser's memoir describes growing up in the 1930s and 1940s but its real concern is with her growing love of history. The fascination began as a child when her evacuation at the beginning of the war to an Elizabethan manor house became an inspiration for historical imaginings - and developed into an enduring passion; as she writes, 'for me, the study of History has always been an essential part of the enjoyment of life'.
Internationally best-selling historian Antonia Fraser's new book brilliantly evokes one year of pre-Victorian political and social history - the passing of the Great Reform Bill of 1832. For our inconclusive times, there is an attractive resonance with 1832, with its "rotten boroughs" of Old Sarum and the disappearing village of Dunwich, and its lines of most resistance to reform.
This audiobook centres around the Sun King and his relationship with numerous and fascinating women. Naturally dividing into five parts, it concentrates on the King's mother, Anne of Austria; his first important mistress, Louise de la Valliere; Athenais Marquise de Montespan, who acted as unofficial Queen of Versailles; Marie Therese, his wife, of course; and Madame de Maintenon, governess to the illegitimate royal children.