Cleopatra: A Life (Paperback)

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November 2010 Indie Next List


“Here is a wonderful antidote to the endless salacious fictionalizations of Cleopatra. Well researched and documented, this biography draws a complete portrait of Cleopatra and her age, and the wealth of detail is balanced by a strong narrative thread. Schiff has a natural sensitivity for her subject, and it turns out that the real Cleo may be even more interesting than our imagined one!”
— Jennie Turner-Collins, Joseph-Beth Booksellers, Cincinnati, OH

April 2012 Indie Next List


“Here is a wonderful antidote to the endless salacious fictionalizations of Cleopatra. Well researched and documented, this biography draws a complete portrait of Cleopatra and her age, and the wealth of detail is balanced by a strong narrative thread. Schiff has a natural sensitivity for her subject, and it turns out that the real Cleo may be even more interesting than our imagined one!”
— Jennie Turner-Collins, Joseph-Beth Booksellers, Cincinnati, OH

Description


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.

About the Author


Stacy Schiff is the author of Vera, winner of the Pulitzer Prize;Saint-Exupery, a Pulitzer Prize finalist; and A Great Improvisation, winner of the George Washington Book Prize and the Ambassador Book Award. The recipient of an Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, she has contributed to the New Yorker, New York Times, and the Washington Post, among others. She lives in New York City.

Praise For…


"Stacy Schiff has managed to create a masterpiece."
-Michael Korda, The Daily Beast

"[Schiff] writes against the fabulous grain...There are countless books about Cleopatra, but this one, I suspect, would have been one of her favorites."
-Laura Miller, Salon.com

"Captivating...Ms. Schiff strips away the accretions of myth that have built up around the Egyptian queen and plucks off the imaginative embroiderings of Shakespeare, Shaw and Elizabeth Taylor. In doing so, she gives us a cinematic portrait of a historical figure far more complex and compelling than any fictional creation, and a wide, panning, panoramic picture of her world."
-Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

"A swift, sympathetic life of one of history's most maligned and legendary women."
-Kirkus

"[A] dazzling, meticulous biography."
-Caryn James, More

"Schiff excavates truth from myth with vivid eloquence, taking us back to a life in a time and place that was both 'an orgy of pillage and murder' and 'the Paris of the ancient world.'"
-Natasha Clark, Elle

"Hugely compelling...Schiff sifts through gauzy mythology to uncover a brilliant young woman."
-Vogue

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

Product Details
ISBN: 9780316001946
ISBN-10: 0316001945
Publisher: Back Bay Books
Publication Date: September 6th, 2011
Pages: 432
Language: English