Author: Stacy Schiff
Publisher: Little, Brown, and Company
What's the Story?:
Goodreads.com: "Her life spanned fewer than 40 years, but she was the last Egyptian pharaoh and one of the most influential women of the age. She married twice, each time to a brother; she poisoned one and waged a war against the other. To this day, the life of Cleopatra VII (69-30 B.C.) intrigues us. This adept biography by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Stacy Schiff tells us why it should. The true story of the woman behind the myth.
My Two Cents:
What I knew of Cleopatra before this book was mostly what I had gleaned from fictional books and movies where Cleopatra is shown as sensual woman who gets her way mostly through feminine wiles and not necessarily through the crazy amount of power she had. As a woman, I think it would pretty much suck to only be remembered for your romantic escapades and not your extremely amazing statesmanship. This book seeks to change people's perspective on Cleopatra and to enlighten people on all of the amazing things she did as a ruler of Egypt.
What I especially liked in the book is the description of Cleopatra's world. It's interesting how small people of her time thought the world was round (although at that point, the Egyptians already knew the world was round, they pretty much forgot the Western Hemisphere). I also loved the descriptions of Alexandria. I so would have loved to spend time in the library there. It was also striking to see how Rome was considered to be quite backwards in comparison to Alexandria.
I would definitely recommend this book. It's a very interesting biography of a truly amazing person!
4 out of 5 stars