Cleopatra : A Life

3.61 (76,005 ratings by Goodreads)
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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 more

Product details

  • Paperback | 432 pages
  • 134.62 x 205.74 x 30.48mm | 430.91g
  • Little, Brown & Company
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 0316001945
  • 9780316001946
  • 147,297

Review quote

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

About Stacy Schiff

Stacy Schiff is the author "of Vera (Mrs. Vladimir Nabokov), " winner of the Pulitzer Prize; "Saint-Exupery," 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 Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library. The recipient of an Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, she lives in New York City."show more

Rating details

76,005 ratings
3.61 out of 5 stars
5 27% (20,424)
4 31% (23,646)
3 26% (19,493)
2 10% (7,433)
1 7% (5,009)

Our customer reviews

I have always loved Cleopatra, for her wittiness and intelligence, and to have known of her downfall, it begs the question "Why, and how?" This books covers most of the events in her life, from her rise to her downfall, and the aftermath. A clever woman who used everything she had to get what she wanted (Absolute Power), and to loose it all..... This is totally a different version from what Hollywood portrays Cleopatra to be. Instead of a sexy siren, she is more vulnerable, down to earth, and pretty much explains what she had to go through with to get what she more
by K Renganathan
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