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Cleopatra: A Life - Stacy Schiff
Cleopatra: A Life
by: (author)
3.59 215
The Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer brings to life the most intriguing woman in the history of the world: Cleopatra, the last queen of Egypt.Her palace shimmered with onyx, garnets, and gold, but was richer still in political and sexual intrigue. Above all else, Cleopatra was a shrewd... show more
The Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer brings to life the most intriguing woman in the history of the world: Cleopatra, the last queen of Egypt.Her palace shimmered with onyx, garnets, and gold, but was richer still in political and sexual intrigue. Above all else, Cleopatra was a shrewd strategist and an ingenious negotiator.Though her life spanned fewer than forty years, it reshaped the contours of the ancient world. She was married twice, each time to a brother. She waged a brutal civil war against the first when both were teenagers. She poisoned the second. Ultimately she dispensed with an ambitious sister as well; incest and assassination were family specialties. Cleopatra appears to have had sex with only two men. They happen, however, to have been Julius Caesar and Mark Antony, among the most prominent Romans of the day. Both were married to other women. Cleopatra had a child with Caesar and--after his murder--three more with his protégé. Already she was the wealthiest ruler in the Mediterranean; the relationship with Antony confirmed her status as the most influential woman of the age. The two would together attempt to forge a new empire, in an alliance that spelled their ends. Cleopatra has lodged herself in our imaginations ever since.Famous long before she was notorious, Cleopatra has gone down in history for all the wrong reasons. Shakespeare and Shaw put words in her mouth. Michelangelo, Tiepolo, and Elizabeth Taylor put a face to her name. Along the way, Cleopatra's supple personality and the drama of her circumstances have been lost. In a masterly return to the classical sources, Stacy Schiff here boldly separates fact from fiction to rescue the magnetic queen whose death ushered in a new world order. Rich in detail, epic in scope, Schiff 's is a luminous, deeply original reconstruction of a dazzling life.
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Format: hardcover
ISBN: 9780316001922 (0316001929)
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Pages no: 368
Edition language: English
Bookstores:
Community Reviews
daisyq
daisyq rated it
Loved this - very readable, fascinating look at the life and times of Cleopatra, and by extension, Julius Caesar, Mark Antony, and Augustus.Schiff explains the context for Cleopatra's life: the history of Cleopatra's family as rulers of Egypt, and what it meant to rule in Egypt, especially alongside...
narfna
narfna rated it
4.0 Cleopatra: A Life
I can’t remember the last time I read an honest to God biography, so either it’s been a really long time or whatever it was was so unmemorable that my brain has erased it from my memory banks. Last autobiography? Easy: Benjamin Franklin. And I read memoirs all the time. But biographies, man, they’re...
The Book High
The Book High rated it
This book was fascinating, and reading it was an interesting experience.This is the first book I've read by Ms. Schiff, and it took me more than half of the book to come to appreciate her writing style. It seemed for much of the book as though she wasn't sure of who her audience was. Ms. Schiff us...
JasonKoivu
JasonKoivu rated it
4.0 Cleopatra: A Life
Stacy Schiff's Cleopatra: A Life is speculative, board-line revisionist history. It is unabashedly pro-Cleopatra. Schiff looks at all the historical accounts - many of which did not paint the Egyptian queen in a kindly light - and attempts to distort the image so that the portrait favors her subject...
Caffeine Reviews
Caffeine Reviews rated it
4.0
This was probably one of my more challenging books I've read this year and it is one of my favorite history subjects. Schiff's style of writing was a little hard for me to get into but once I got past the first couple of chapters it was smooth sailing. I totally enjoyed Stacy Schiff's narrative of C...
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