Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Cleopatra: A Life by Stacy Schiff

I finally finished this epic book. What an awesome feeling of accomplishment. I was super excited to win this book off of Fresh off the Shelf's blog spot. Thanks again Kelly!
Let me say first, that I have always loved Cleopatra. I feel that she is one of history's most misaligned characters. She was not a wanton temptress. Cleopatra, in my mind, is best described as a visionary and an extraordinary ruler with the ability to connect with people. We learn that her desire is to keep Egypt afloat and out of Roman hands. And what better way to do this that to bed them, literally.  

The book starts with a brief introduction on her childhood, education, childhood demeanor, and her ability to learn how to behave by watching others' mistakes. 
We move rather quickly to her meeting with Cesar, and her trip to Rome. Also we learn about her affair with Mark Antony, and see into her relationship or lack there of, with Octavian, her jealousy of Octavia, and how Cleopatra viewed Rome.
All through out the book, Schiff interjects with what could have been going on in Cleopatra's head. We see why she did this or that.

I do wish that the children would have played more of a role, but maybe its because Cleopatra was a busy ruler instead of a doting mother. I do know that she had great hopes and dreams for her children.
All in all, a wonderful fascinating book. This is a must read for any Cleopatra fan, and for those who are under the impression that she was just a wanton temptress. And this book has it all; intrigue, sexual tension, murder, history and facts.
5 out of 5.

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