Cleopatra: A Life

Paperback | September 6, 2011

byStacy Schiff

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Her palace shimmered with onyx and gold but was richer still in political and sexual intrigue. Above all else, Cleopatra was a shrewd strategist and an ingenious negotiator. She was married twice, each time to a brother. She waged a brutal civil war against the first and poisoned the second; incest and assassination were family specialties. She had children by Julius Caesar and Mark Antony, two of the most prominent Romans of the day. With Antony she would attempt to forge a new empire, in an alliance that spelled both their ends. Famous long before she was notorious, Cleopatra has gone down in history for all the wrong reasons. Her supple personality and the drama of her circumstances have been lost. In a masterly return to the classical sources, Stacy Schiff boldly separates fact from fiction to rescue the magnetic queen whose death ushered in a new world order.

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From the Publisher

Her palace shimmered with onyx and gold but was richer still in political and sexual intrigue. Above all else, Cleopatra was a shrewd strategist and an ingenious negotiator. She was married twice, each time to a brother. She waged a brutal civil war against the first and poisoned the second; incest and assassination were family special...

Stacy Schiff is the author of Véra (Mrs. Vladimir Nabokov), winner of the Pulitzer Prize; Saint-Exupéry, a Pulitzer Prize finalist; and A Great Improvisation: Franklin, France, and the Birth of America, winner of the George Washington Book Prize and the Ambassador Book Award. Schiff has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundati...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:432 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 1.25 inPublished:September 6, 2011Publisher:Little, Brown And CompanyLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0316001945

ISBN - 13:9780316001946

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Customer Reviews of Cleopatra: A Life

Reviews

Rated 2 out of 5 by from Hard to get into I thought I would really enjoy this book, I generally like books of the genre. I did finish the book and I am glad I did, however reading it was a but of a chore. I had a hard time getting into it.
Date published: 2016-11-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Couldn't put it down! Very intriguing and informative. A great read for history buffs. Gives you a more realistic perspective on how Cleopatra may have lived. Loved it!
Date published: 2012-06-21
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Waste of time I was very disappointed with this book. I had been wanting to download this to my kobo for some time, but was always put off by the price. I finally got it, only to be terribly disappointed. The writing is extremely disjointed - it reads like a gossip column. The author jumps from one topic to the next, and I never learned anything more about Cleopatra. There wasn't anything concrete to learn at all from this book. If you want a better read about Cleopatra, try the historical novel by Margaret George. I know this wasn't a "novel" but it was a complete waste of time.
Date published: 2011-11-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful! I'm a terrible writer, so please forgive me, but I enjoyed this book so much I wanted to pass it on. This was a really compelling read that did an amazing job of exploring the myths around Cleopatra and giving the reader glimpses into what she was really like. As such an amazing and controversial historical figure, it was refreshed to see there how much more there was to the picture than the typical sex kitten portrayals in TV and movies. The author skillfully navigates history and pulls out interesting and relevant details, while managing to be quite entertaining. Enjoy!
Date published: 2011-11-09
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Not what you expected! Do not pick up this book if you think it is the tale of Cleopatra. The summary on the back of the book was misleading. This book is more of a text book. The author is talking to you and teaching you about the "real" story of this notorious queen. There are even footnotes. As she goes on, she is disproving all things that you think you knew, as well as all the things that writers from that era reported. It is not a romantic story... it's a resource.
Date published: 2011-11-01

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Editorial Reviews

"[An] excellent, myth-busting biography....No one will think of Cleopatra in quite the same way after reading this vivid, provocative book."-Washington Examiner