Must You Go?: My Life with Harold Pinter
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A moving testament to one of the literary world's most celebrated marriages: that of the greatest playwright of our age, Harold Pinter, and the beautiful and famous prize-winning biographer Antonia Fraser.
In this exquisite memoir, Antonia Fraser recounts the life she shared with the internationally renowned dramatist. In essence, it is a love story and a marvelously insightful account of their years together, beginning with their initial meeting when Fraser was the wife of a member of Parliament and mother of six, and Pinter was married to a distinguished actress. Over the years, they experienced much joy, a shared devotion to their work, crises and laughter, and, in the end, great courage and love as Pinter battled the illness to which he eventually succumbed on Christmas Eve 2008.
Must You Go? is based on Fraser’s recollections and on the diaries she has kept since October 1968. She shares Pinter’s own revelations about his past, as well as observations by his friends. Fraser’s diaries—written by a biographer living with a creative artist and observing the process firsthand—also provide a unique insight into his writing.
Harold Pinter and Antonia Fraser lived together from August 1975 until his death thirty-three years later. “O! call back yesterday, bid time return,” cries one of the courtiers to Richard II. This is Antonia Fraser’s uniquely compelling way of doing so.
Foster were played as policemen, which we’re assured is realistic in the current situation in Yugoslavia. In various fish restaurants in Dubrovnik, money worries are discussed. Also Harold mentions dinners in the past with Joan Bakewell and their respective spouses: and how different levels of knowledge among four people in a room might make a play. Or not. He spends most of his time in the hotel in what I call as a result the Beckett suite, studying for his recital of The Unnameable at the
I didn’t comment. I knew that Sam, to whom we were both devoted, thought all this romantic talk about marriage was nonsense; why couldn’t we just have an affair like everyone else? 23 June Had lunch with my hero the urbane and brilliant Charles Wintour (editor of the Evening Standard) and told him that for ‘personal reasons’ I must resign from the Evening Standard Drama Panel where I had been the lay critic very happily for seven years. I refer to a ‘serious relationship’ with Harold.
is to play the Princesse de Lamballe, Marie Antoinette’s favourite, came to see me. She told me to my pleasure that the producer Ross Katz was most enthusiastic about filming in France: ‘They have châteaux out there! We don’t even have to build them.’ Pale and pretty, not exotically dark and beautiful like her mother Diana Quick; interesting to see Bill Nighy’s wonderful raddled face transformed into that of an English Rose. Very bright, as she seeks information. But of course she’s not at all my
piece, yellow open-necked shirt, longish black Beatle-style hair and black stubble. Quite short. Eloquent big black eyes (I had no idea that he was Sofia’s cousin, the son of Talia Shire, the heroine-actress of the Godfather series). He told me he was half Polish-Jewish and half Italian. Well, Louis XVI was half Polish too. Otherwise, except for the marked black brows, there is no resemblance between this lively, attractive man and the fat slob who was Louis XVI. We get quickly on to his eating,
fact that it was nine years since I had written it. Thus dawned the most exciting day of my life: with Harold, scarcely able to walk, heavily dependent on a stick, with a white patch over one eye and a sailor’s cap lying on the hall table. 13 October What happened was this: we both felt awful at breakfast, Harold from coughing without intermission all night, me from listening to him. I went up to the Eyrie and assembled notes re the Gunpowder Plot. Then I chatted to a friend about Dublin.