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Monday, August 10, 2015

Must You Go? by Antonia Fraser

Several years ago my mother gave me a newspaper article to read and stated that my heroine had feet of clay.  That heroine was Lady Antonia Fraser.  According to the article, Harold Pinter's wife had been driven to drink and despair because of his affair with Lady Antonia.  It even inferred that she may have committed suicide as a result.  The scandal involving the couple certainly shocked England, partly because Lady Antonia was married as well with six children! They eventually married and the relationship lasted thirty years until Pinter's death in his seventies. Some reviewers have criticised their eventual marriage in the Catholic church as bending the rules, but as both of their spouses were dead, I couldn't see anything wrong with it.

The love story between this couple was wonderfully romantic and they were destined to be together, however, I did get the feeling that Lady Antonia regarded Vivian (Pinter's wife) as rather a nuisance and she didn't see her side of it at all.  Vivian got her own back by saying that if Harold needed a pair of shoes he could always wear Fraser's because her feet were so big!

This book was a delight to read with interesting snippets about Pinter's plays and Lady Antonia's biographies and their travels together.  It also has a lot of details about Pinter's very left-wing politics and protests. Be warned that the account of Pinter's illness is extremely sad and harrowing.

Is she still one of my heroines?  I still greatly admire her, so yes, she is.

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