Lady Antonia Fraser, historian and writer of detective novels, is, with Dame Rebecca West, one of only two people to have been a Booker Prize judge in consecutive years.

Fraser was a debutante before becoming an ‘all-purpose assistant’ to the publisher George Weidenfeld - a role she describes as constituting her ‘only job’. In 1969, she published her first work of history, Mary Queen of Scots, and has subsequently written about numerous royals and rulers. Her detective novels featuring Jemima Shore have also proved popular. In 1975, as the wife of the Conservative MP Hugh Fraser, she survived an IRA bomb attack when his car was blown up. That same year, she began a relationship with Harold Pinter, whom she later married.