Top positive review
Love is Eternal but Life is Short
on 20 May 2015
I must assume Lady Antonia Fraser needs no introduction. This book is mostly constructed from the author's contemporary diaries, edited and commentated upon where appropriate. Although with hindsight, as a method it is not the less successful for conveying the scale of her passion and joy in the company of Harold Pinter, a passion and joy which was clearly reciprocated. That by this love she felt justified in leaving her marriage to Hugh Fraser MP, by whom she had six children, is testament indeed to the depth and intensity of feeling they had for each other. And choosing to do this in Antonia's case in spite of converting to Catholicism like her father Lord Longford ! Eventually after many years together their respective spouses died and they were able to celebrate a marriage.
There is a lot of travelling. A great deal of company, mainly the bohemian elite which included many of the movers and shakers in thespian and cinematic circles. And a great deal of eating in mainly illustrious London establishments ! But these are the highlights of two lives that knew all about hard graft.
The story ends with a poignant crescendo of dramatic climaxes as Pinter is showered with honours, even while he is fighting cancer over the last seven years of his life. Most notable was the Nobel Prize for Literature, but he was also made a CBE and a Companion of Honour to Her Majesty the Queen. This is Antonia's story and we learn how she coped realistically and responsably with what she termed "The Great Fear" that invaded her life. It is a heart-breaking tale.