Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Cleopatra: Last Queen Of Egypt” as Want to Read:
Cleopatra: Last Queen Of Egypt
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Cleopatra: Last Queen Of Egypt

3.74 of 5 stars 3.74  ·  rating details  ·  584 ratings  ·  43 reviews
Cleopatra The Romans regarded Cleopatra as 'fatale monstrum', a tyrant to be crushed. Pascal said the shape of her nose changed the history of the world. Shakespeare and Tiepolo (and Elizabeth Taylor) portrayed her as an icon of tragic beauty. But who was Cleopatra, really? This biography discusses about Cleopatra. Full description
Hardcover, 290 pages
Published by Profile Books(GB) (first published January 1st 2008)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Cleopatra, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Cleopatra

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,422)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Steven
An excellent overview written by a thoughtful, but easily readable historian. I got a little lost with some of the descriptions of how Greek and Egyptian dieties, pharaohs and kings were intermingled and associated, but I got the feeling that there are precious few people who have a handle on all of that. I also found the interrelationships amongst the Ptolemaic kings, and their lack of imagination in the child-naming department fascinating.

I appreciated how Tyldesly introduced several of the le
...more
Aleta
I love Egyptian history especially history on women which there isn't a lot of information on. What I liked about this book was that the author pointed out all of the inaccuracies of Cleopatra's supposed life that we've been told or read about in books. The author takes the approach of a skeptic from everything like Cleopatra's ethnicity ( was she black was she white) to the father of her eldest son. The author points out all of the possibilities and then based on her education and experience ma ...more
Chris
This is a good biography of Cleopatra. Tydesley does not really contribute anything new about Cleopatra per se (though she offers a good analysis for the major areas of debate); however, the book does give background material about Cleopatra's family and her Egypt that one does not usually see in most Cleopatra biographies. This gives the reader a better view of the Cleopatra herself as well as the Egypt of her times, an Egypt that is not presented though Roman eyes.
Katharine Holden
I had no idea Cleopatra had four children. Interesting to read how Romans made the details of her life into useful propaganda for their own interests. Quite a bit of the author's accounts of Egyptian women's lives and the mixed ethnic groups in Egypt during the late Ptolemy period were new to me.
Nikki
2.5 stars

Overall a decent biography on Cleopatra but not without its faults. I do feel as though it was written in an approachable manner. If I were not such a Cleophile I may have enjoyed this more, but I often found the approach to Cleopatra a bit off-putting for my preference. Also, as with many biographies for this and similar time periods, there were far too many tangents. Tyldesley would often get sidetracked by something she noted and spend up to a numerous pages on it, only to immediatel
...more
Lisa
I don't know much Cleopatra, nor do I care overly much about her. Yes, she is an extraordinary figure in history, half-mythical, but I'd rather read about the "real" Egyptian monarchs, such as Amenhotep III, Hatshepsut, Nefertiti, and Ramesses II.

Interestingly, this distinction between the "real" Egypt and the Ptolemaic Egypt is one that Tyldesley comments on, discussing how Egyptologists often only focus on the dynastic Egyptian rulers, leaving studies of Ptolemaic Egypt to classical scholars
...more
Yoake
La imagen de Cleopatra VII que perdura entre nosotros es el resultado de una mezcla de intereses políticos, artísticos, religiosos y propagandísticos. El primer manipulador fue Octavio (Augusto):

César, el padre adoptivo que le concedió a Octavio su derecho a gobernar, sería recordado con respeto como un hombre valiente y correcto que manipuló a una mujer extranjera e inmoral en su propio beneficio. En cambio, Antonio, el rival de Octavio, sería recordado con una mezcla de piedad y de desprecio,
...more
Belinda
This was an excellent and balanced bio on the most famous Queen of Egypt, long an obsession of mine. I tend not to read older bios of Cleopatra as the source material on her is fragmented and often not well researched as well as the influence film and popular culture has on her life. This book cleared many of those cobwebs away. Extremely well researched, it shows perceptions of the Queen from both her own time and more timely material. A nice selection of photos and a great job at establishing ...more
Jodi
Interesting read. A little hard to follow, but that's pretty much the entire Ptolemaic era with so many people sharing the same name. Would definitively recommend reading the "Who's Who" section at the end of the book first.
Manda
Cleopatra has always been one of the most fascinating people in history to me, but the focus is often on the legend and not the reality behind it. As recent marine excavations have given us a new picture of Cleopatra's Alexandria, so it was also time the woman herself was given a historical reevaluation. Even when we think we know everything there is to know about a historical figure, sometimes we need to look again to see if anything has changed, even if it's just our own perspective. Cleopatra ...more
Julie Olver
Just couldn't get into it, and that's saying a lot, as I'm pretty obsessed with anything Cleopatra-related.
John
Not a lot is known about the Last Queen and this book proves it.
Mark
A little hard to follow at first because the author provides so much source material and then gives you what the most probable history was. It's not a brass tacks bio but how could it be-egyptology being such an inexact science. Once you get used to this approach, however, the book reads well and avoids being dry or text bookish. Gives the reader a well thought out portait of the players, the environment and, perhaps most interestingly, the Cleopatra mystique - why this historical personage has ...more
Lynda
Well-written and scholarly, but still accessible. Tyldesley's biography is great for anyone new to the history of Cleopatra and the Ptolemies. I would definitely read this one before Duane Roller's. She focuses more on Cleopatra's creation of her own status by drawing on predecessor queens of Egypt as well as Isis iconography. So far this is my favorite of these new Cleopatra biographies, but the newest by Stacy Schiff is up next. Why so many biographies in the past three years I wonder?
Robert
I am enjoying the history very much. Cleopatra, as the author notes, is one of the more familiar characters of history. Watching the various depictions of her on stage and screen, one feels, perhaps I should say I feel, as if you know her story. This biography gives us a more complete picture of the woman, at least as complete as we can achieve now. Unfortunately there is so much we shall never know. Maybe that's a good thing. Mysteries are a necessary part of life.
Stacie
This was a pretty quick and easy read- for a history. Dr. Tyldesley does an admirable job of making the mess that is the Ptolemaic Dynasty, if not crystal clear, at least understandable. The 'Who's Who' at the end is particularly helpful. As usual, her writing is clear and easy to follow-and not too dry... Everybody knows how Cleopatra's bid to retain her country and her crown ends, but the chapter on her failure and her death still made me sad!
Eileen
Finally a biography of Cleopatra that does not try to paint her as history's biggest trollop! I've read a couple of things about her and this by far is the most serious thing I've read. Ptolemaic Kings and Queens are quite difficult to keep track of and with the deadly rivalry that went on for generations described here, it is much easier to understand her motivations.

How incredibly tragic the end of Cleopatra and her children.
Annie
While this is the first biography on Cleopatra I've ever read, I enjoyed it immensely. I felt that the author did her best to do justice to the queen's character, even with the astounding lack of source material concerning her subject. By the end, I had even managed to keep all the previous Cleopatras and the Ptolemies straight, and left with a good knowledge of the times she lived in. Excellent and highly recommended.
Fuglsang
Jul 19, 2010 Fuglsang rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: People interested in the truth about Cleopatra
This is a very good book on the history of Cleopatra. Cutting through all the myths and rumours, Tyldesley provides us with a down-to-Eart and realistic portrait of one of the most misunderstood characters of Antiquity.

Loaded with bits of texts from antiquity, quotes from later historical works and images of sculptures this is a very good read if one is interested in the true story of Cleopatra VII.
Xarah
This book was more of a brief summary of Cleopatra's life and the surrounding events that influenced her actions and her world. I found the book to be written in a very approachable manner, complete with some wry humor! I am struck on just how dynamic Cleopatra, Caesar, and Antony were. It's just fascinating to learn about them and their lives and how we know so much but not nearly enough!
Emily
Thought this was a nice read. It had a lot of information in it but was also very readable to those that wouldn't have a strong back ground in Egyptian history. At times I felt that the author fell short in some explanation at times, but it kept my interest well.I would think anyone with any interest in Cleopatra would find this a positive addition to their shelf.
Rozonda
Like most books by Ms Tyldesley, a very thorough and ´well-researched biography of an ever-popular character. It doesn't get more stars because it doesn't add much to biographies already published, but for young people who are new to Cleopatra and look for a no-nonsense, no-temptress-myth biography, it is absolutely recommended.
Sarah
I have always loved Cleopatra. She is an inspration to all.I like the way that they author told all sides of the story.Espcially since there are so many conflicting views on her. She included all of the sides,so you could draw your own conclusions about her.I will definatly recommend this book to all.
Amanda
A very balanced and fair biography of Cleopatra. Very interesting to read for all that there is so little contemporary evidence for Cleopatra and her life. The author takes care to be as objective as possible and show all the facets of Cleopatra and Egypt in her time. Very much recommended.
Russamun82
A Brief glimpse into the mysterious and dangerous world of the last Ptolemaic Queen of Egypt. Tracing many different strands, this biography follows the life of Cleopatra by the lives of those around her and the likely events that shaped her life. Another good work by this author.
Vince
Lots of interesting information presented so that you can come to your own conclusions. The sad thing is when you strip away all of your preconceived Hollywood/Shakespeare notions of who she was........... You realize no one really knows and they all are just guessing.
☯Bettie☯
heheheheh - a comb-over for Julius.


NEW BBC Radio Audiobiography

The Romans regarded her as 'fatale monstrum', a female Saddam Hussein. Pascal said the shape of her nose changed the history of the world. Shakespeare and Tiepolo (and Elizabeth Taylor) portrayed her as an icon of tragic beauty. But who was Cleopatra, really? She was the last ruler of the Macedonian dynasty of Ptolemies who had ruled Egypt for three centuries. Highly educated (she was the only one of the Ptolemies to read and speak
...more
Elysium
I kinda liked it and she has done good resource. But she got little too far from the main point too often. I wish it would have been more of just Cleopatra.
Davina
Read as part of my OU degree course, very informative. I love ancient Egypt and this is a good book, picked up bits of info that i did not know before.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 80 81 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Cleopatra: A Biography
  • Cleopatra and Antony: Power, Love, and Politics in the Ancient World
  • The Rise and Fall of Ancient Egypt: The History of a Civilisation from 3000 BC to Cleopatra
  • Temples, Tombs & Hieroglyphs: A Popular History of Ancient Egypt
  • Cleopatra: A Biography (Women in Antiquity)
  • The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt
  • Caesars' Wives: The Women Who Shaped the History of Rome
  • Akhenaten: Egypt's False Prophet
  • The Tigress of Forlì: Renaissance Italy's Most Courageous and Notorious Countess, Caterina Riario Sforza de Medici
  • Ancient Egypt: An Illustrated Reference to the Myths, Religions, Pyramids and Temples of the Land of the Pharaohs
  • Helen of Troy: Goddess, Princess, Whore
  • Throne of Isis
  • A History of Ancient Egypt
  • Madame de Pompadour: A Life
  • How to Read Egyptian Hieroglyphs: A Step-by-Step Guide to Teach Yourself
  • Cleopatra the Great: The Woman Behind the Legend
  • Christina, Queen of Sweden: The Restless Life of a European Eccentric
  • The Murder of Tutankhamen
Joyce Tyldesley is a British archaeologist and Egyptologist, academic, writer and broadcaster.

Tyldesley was born in Bolton, Lancashire and attended Bolton School. In 1981, she earned a first-class honours degree in archaeology from Liverpool University, and a doctorate in Prehistoric Archaeology from Oxford in 1986. She is a Teaching Fellow at Manchester University where she is tutor and course or
...more
More about Joyce A. Tyldesley...
Hatchepsut: The Female Pharaoh Daughters of Isis: Women of Ancient Egypt Nefertiti: Unlocking the Mystery Surrounding Egypt's Most Famous and Beautiful Queen Ramesses: Egypt's Greatest Pharaoh Chronicle of the Queens of Egypt: From Early Dynastic Times to the Death of Cleopatra

Share This Book