On this day in 1975 historian Lady Antonia Fraser - along with her husband, Conservative MP Sir Hugh Fraser and their house-guest Caroline Kennedy - narrowly avoided being killed by a bomb placed beneath his Jaguar XJ6 by the IRA outside their home in London's tony Holland Park. Only a telephone call from fellow Tory Jonathan Aitken prevented the device from killing its intended victims - possibly the one good deed Aitken ever managed. Killed in the blast was noted cancer researcher Gordon Hamilton-Fairley, who noticed the device while walking his two dogs, Benny and Emmy Lou, who also died.
Over the next couple of years the daughter of the Earl of Longford would cause a similar explosion beneath London's perpetually stodgy high society when she, a mother of six and a Catholic besides, would undertake an extramarital affair with playwright Harold Pinter, who was then married to the actress Vivien Merchant. Fraser and Pinter married in 1977, and remained together until his death in December 2008, living in that same house.
Many thanks go out to fellow blogger Another Nickel In The Machine for additional information on this event - the Campden Hill Square bombing - in particular, as well as the targeted bombing campaign conducted by the IRA in London throughout the 1970s in general.
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