Must You Go?: My Life with Harold Pinter

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.

Reviews from

Write a review (you'll need to sign in to your Goodreads account or sign up) (showing 1-10 of 180)
By Jenny (The United States) · ★☆☆☆☆ · March 24, 2011
Real Housewives of Literary London.

I have rarely been this disappointed in a book. If reading a daytimer gets you off, you'll love it. But if you want to know what people were thinking and feeling while committing adultery, leaving their 6 kids behind, and dining with the rich famous, you're out... ...more
By Fred (San Diego, CA) · ★★★★☆ · February 12, 2011
Hemingway wrote somewhere that when two people are deeply in love, it is
Inevitable that their story will end in tragedy, since one will quite likely out-
live the other. I've been thinking about this recently because in the last few years I've read a handful of books by widows who were in deeply r... ...more
By Kasa (Oakland, CA) · ★★★★★ · January 05, 2011
Who can resist a rollicking, passionate love story, but even more so, when the characters are vital, alive and have so many dimensions as this karmic couple. Antonia Fraser and Harold Pinter are level headed, famous and accomplished, married quite happily to others, when they meet in 1975 and are... ...more
By Ann (Bainbridge Island, WA) · ★★☆☆☆ · December 01, 2010
Please call her "Lady" Antonia, after all, her father was an Earl. She relates that she was quite relieved when at a dinner party the host correctly sat her to his right; the rightful place for the daughter of an Earl. Did she mention she is the daughter of an Earl? No doubt a fascinating life, l... ...more
By Mark (The United Kingdom) · ★★★★★ · January 31, 2014
A tender and warm, fascinating narrated memoir, with extracts from her extensive diaries, this historian recounts her long marriage with the poet Harold Pinter, eventually documenting his fight with, and eventual death, from cancer.

While not the usual type of book that I read, I had a vested int... ...more
By Kayleen · ★☆☆☆☆ · September 06, 2010
I only finished this book because I owe a review for the ARC. Ugh! 300+ pages of self-important boring diary entires and endless name dropping. I've never read any of her books before, and based on this, never will again! ...more
By Callie (Springville, UT) · ★★★★☆ · January 30, 2015
I thank Antonia Fraser for writing this book and taking me places. If I couldn't be married to my own current dearly beloved husband, I sure would enjoy being married to a Nobel prize-winning playwright. If you read this, you will mostly be treated to her journal entries and find out things like... ...more
By Tara · ★★★★☆ · January 11, 2013
If there’s one thing you walk away with after reading Antonia Fraser’s memoir Must You Go, My Life with Harold Pinter, it’s that she and her second husband Harold Pinter were deeply in love. Reading a memoir that doesn’t focus exclusively on tribulations its author has overcome is refreshing. Rem... ...more
By Seth (The United States) · ★★★☆☆ · December 19, 2010
I enjoyed following the ebb and flow of Harold Pinter's and Antonia Fraser's 30+ years together. Fraser has successfully and naturally documented how they dedicated their lives to sharing myriad successes, failures, joys and hardships. Fraser maintains an honesty and matter-of-factness throughout... ...more
By Kristine (The United States) · ★★☆☆☆ · July 10, 2011
Antonia Fraser, born in London in 1932, is a Brit of privilege ("Lady" Antonia Fraser); historian; successful writer in various genres (non-fiction includes The Weaker Vessel, The Warrior Queens, Marie Antoinette; detective fiction includes Quiet as a Nun and other Jemima Shore books); mother of... ...more