Antonia Fraser

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Lady Antonia Margaret Caroline Fraser, DBE (born 27 August 1932), née Pakenham, is an Anglo-Irish author of history, novels, biographies and detective fiction, best known as Antonia Fraser. She is the widow of Harold Pinter (1930–2008), the 2005 Nobel Laureate in Literature, and, prior to her husband's death, was also known as Antonia Pinter.[1][2][3][4]

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Family background and education

Fraser is the daughter of Frank Pakenham, 7th Earl of Longford (1905–2001), and his wife, Elizabeth Pakenham, Countess of Longford, née Elizabeth Harman (1906–2002). As the daughter of an Earl, she is accorded the honorific courtesy title "Lady" and thus customarily addressed formally as "Lady Antonia".[1]

As a teenager,[5] she and her siblings converted to Catholicism, after the conversion of her parents.[1][6] Her "maternal grandparents were Unitarians – a non-conformist faith with a strong emphasis on social reform ...". In response to criticism of her writing about Oliver Cromwell, she has said: "I have no Catholic blood". Before his own conversion in his thirties following a nervous breakdown in the Army, as she explains, "My father was Protestant Church of Ireland, and my mother was Unitarian up to the age of 20 when she abandoned it."[5] She was educated at St Mary's School, Ascot, the Dragon School, Oxford[1][7] and Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford; the last was also her mother's alma mater.[5][8][9]

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