Saturday, January 23, 2016

My hero: George Weidenfeld by Antonia Fraser

Lord Weidenfeld, who died this week aged 96, hired author Lady Antonia Fraser when she first started writing. She remembers him introducing her to Wagner and for his perfect chat-up line: “Have you ever thought of writing a book?”

George Weidenfield with Antonia Fraser in 1966
Felicitous moments … George Weidenfield with Antonia Fraser in 1966
“His name is George Weidenfeld,” said my mother, “and he’s a brilliant young publisher.” She added: “He’s very interested in offering you a job.”
Weidenfeld & Nicolson was founded in 1949. Nigel Nicolson, the co-founder, was the son of Harold Nicolson and Vita Sackville-West; by 1953 he had become the Conservative MP for Bournemouth and, busy with his new political career, was no more than a benevolent presence in our lives. George began to give those dinner parties for which he would become famous and remain so, for more than 60 years.

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