Fraser, Rebecca

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FRASER, Rebecca

PERSONAL: Daughter of Antonia Fraser (an historian and writer); married; children: three daughters.

ADDRESSES: Agent—c/o Author Mail, W.W. Norton & Company, 500 5th Ave., New York, NY 10110.

CAREER: Writer and illustrator. Has worked as researcher, publisher's editor, and journalist.

MEMBER: Brontë Society (past president).

WRITINGS:

(Illustrator) Antonia Fraser, King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, Knopf (New York, NY), 1970.

(Illustrator) Antonia Fraser, Robin Hood, Knopf (New York, NY), 1971.

The Brontës: Charlotte Brontë and Her Family, Crown (New York, NY), 1988.

A People's History of Britain, Chatto & Windus (London, England), 2003, published as The Story of Britain: From the Romans to the Present: A Narrative History, Norton (New York, NY), 2005.

Contributor to publications, including Tatler, Vogue, London Times, and Spectator.

SIDELIGHTS: Rebecca Fraser began her career illustrating books about King Arthur and Robin Hood written by her mother, Lady Antonia Fraser. In her first outing as an author, The Brontës: Charlotte Brontë and Her Family, Fraser focuses on a renowned English literary family in which three sisters were novelists. For the most part, however, Fraser's book is primarily concerned with Charlotte, author of the classic novel, Jane Eyre. Charlotte garnered intense criticism from some of her reading public because of her novel's strong title character, who seemed to be the antithesis of femininity. Jane's love of and desire for her master also offended some due to its candor. Fraser sets Charlotte's life within the context of the author 's times.

Fraser is also the author of The Story of Britain: From the Romans to the Present: A Narrative History, published in England as A People's History of Britain. Fraser wrote the book with the younger generation in mind, specifically her three young daughters. As noted by Jane Gardam, writing in the Spectator, the author wrote the book "because she could find nothing like it for her own children." In this chronological history of Great Britain, Fraser sets out to provide a clear link between the country's events, leaders, and eras. Writing in M2 Best Books, a reviewer noted that she "provides a fresh look at how a nation was born and how it grew." Gardam noted that adults would enjoy the book as well as children: "It is packed with fact but rattles along at a gallop and wherever you open it you want to read on." A Kirkus Reviews contributor commented that Fraser "works hard to put a positive spin on things," while in Library Journal Gail Benjafield stated that because of the wide range of the book's historical focus, the author cannot cover in detail all relevant events. Nevertheless, Benjafield added, "the result is an important work studded with characters from Claudius to Hitler as well as lesser-known mortals."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Booklist, January 1, 2005, Jay Freeman, review of The Story of Britain: From the Romans to the Present: A Narrative History, p. 808.

Kirkus Reviews, December 1, 2004, review of The Story of Britain, p. 1130.

Library Journal, January 1, 2005, Gail Benjafield, review of The Story of Britain, p. 128.

M2 Best Books, November 19, 2003, review of A People's History of Britain.

New Statesman, January 5, 2004, Lucy Moore, review of A People's History of Britain, p. 40.

Publishers Weekly, January 3, 2005, review of The Story of Britain, p. 46.

Spectator, December 13, 2003, Jane Gardam, review of A People's History of Britain, p. 66.

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