Antonia Fraser

Books Jonathan Lloyd, +44 (0)20 7393 4418 Email Jonathan Lloyd

The King and the Catholics

book | Non-Fiction | May 2018
UK → Weidenfeld & Nicolson (Ed. Alan Samson)

The story of Catholic Emancipation begins with the violent Anti-Catholic Gordon Riots in 1780, fuelled by the reduction in Penal Laws against the Roman Catholics harking back to the sixteenth century. Some fifty years later, the passing of the Emancipation Bill was hailed as a 'bloodless revolution'.

Had the Irish Catholics been a 'millstone', as described by an English aristocrat, or were they the prime movers? While the English Catholic aristocracy and the Irish peasants and merchants approached the Catholic Question in very different ways, they manifestly shared the same objective.

Antonia Fraser brings colour and humour to the vivid drama with its huge cast of characters: George III, who opposed Emancipation on the basis of the Coronation Oath; his son, the indulgent Prince of Wales, who was enamoured with the Catholic Maria Fitzherbert before the voluptuous Lady Conyngham; Wellington and the 'born Tory' Peel vying for leadership; 'roaring' Lord Winchilsea; the heroic Daniel O'Connell. Expertly written and deftly argued, The King and Catholics is also a distant mirror of our times, reflecting the political issues arising from religious intolerance.


Melissa Pimentel manages the translation rights for The King and the Catholics

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How Britain narrowly avoided a second civil war

"The author has not lost her skill in writing history principally through the stories of particular people ... Fraser's prose is a pleasure to read."

Christopher Howse
The Telegraph
Full Review

Reform’s rough ride: The heated and bitter battle for Catholic emancipation

"[Fraser's] tale flows with such elegance and enthusiasm that you barely stop to notice just how skilfully she does it."

Dominick Sandbrook
The Sunday Times
Full Review

On Shoreham Beach

" ... utterly gripping and consistently witty history of the struggle for British Catholic emancipation." 

Damian Thompson
Literary Review
Full Review

How Britain went from anti Catholic riots to emancipation in just 50 years

"Fraser’s peerless reputation over the past five decades rests on her astute and psychologically insightful biographies, never lecturing but revealing afresh figures in our own and Europe’s history."

Peter Stanford
The Sunday Telegraph
Full Review

The History Woman: Peter Stanford interviews Antonia Fraser

"Her latest work brings together that undimmed passion with her strongly held Catholic faith ... Fraser is unapologetically her own woman, and is equally nuanced about her relationship with the story she is telling."

Peter Stanford
The Tablet
Full Review

The King and the Catholics by Antonia Fraser

" ... meticulously researched and thoroughly engrossing book"

Simon Griffith
The Mail on Sunday
Full Review

" ... a dramatic subject, which Antonia Fraser explores with balance and humanity, deploying her research without pedantry, bringing out the political ups and downs, the characters, humour and tragedy with the verve of an accomplished story-teller."

John Martin Robinson
Country Life
Full Review

Jonathan Lloyd
+44 (0)20 7393 4418
Email Jonathan Lloyd
Translation Rights
Sarah Harvey

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