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Cleopatra: Last Queen Of Egypt

3.76  ·  Rating Details  ·  764 Ratings  ·  56 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)
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Mar 23, 2009 Aleta rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 10, 2008 Chris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
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
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
Jul 28, 2011 Belinda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical-bio
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
Aug 19, 2016 Realini rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Cleopatra: Last Queen of Egypt by Joyce Tyldesley
Cleopatra comes across as a dazzling, smart, valiant, dedicated, resolute, obstinate and a role model in many respects

Cleopatra is one of the best known women in the world.
I mean the name rings a bell for, I venture to speculate – one in four people and that is probably more than almost any other woman in history.

There would be Joan of Arc…
Here I stopped and checked the internet to see if I am right.
And I am.

Cleopatra rests at number nine, but all
Katharine Holden
Jul 05, 2012 Katharine Holden rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jun 26, 2012 Lisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 03, 2013 Yoake rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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,
Lyn Smith
May 20, 2016 Lyn Smith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I made many fascinating discoveries about Cleopatra and ancient Egypt. This author changed my perspective about the great queen. She was a polyglot, a master politician in her own right and probably the reason for Julius Ceasar's downfall due to her overreach for power and an empire for their son. I talk about this read to my students all the time.
Apr 26, 2014 Jodi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Judy Danielle
This book wasn't bad, it was just more like reading a text book! It was also sometimes hard to follow as the author continued to go back and forth and back forth on the dynastic heritage and the different theories!
At one point I simply continued to read because I kept hoping it would get better.
Maybe in a college course, as a professors text and overview this would be wonderful but not as an at home reAd.
I didn't feel like I learned much about Cleopatra, other than the fact that the author is
Learning about the Egyptians is a huge part of the year. It is important to discuss the different rulers and compare them to other rulers around the world.
With care for detail Joyce puts in well known facts, little known facts and speculation of facts, hers and others, and weaves a picture of Cleopatra's life.
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
Feb 26, 2015 Dan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Egyptophiles, History Buffs, Shakespeareans
Recommended to Dan by: Denise
Very interesting story. Fun to read. Also liked the brief history of all the Ptolemies included as an annex.
Julie Olver
Just couldn't get into it, and that's saying a lot, as I'm pretty obsessed with anything Cleopatra-related.
May 02, 2016 Sally rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well researched but information dense. I read some parts and skimmed others, since I could not possibly remember all of the information inside. Recommended for history (herstory?) buffs.
Gillian Angela
Nov 13, 2015 Gillian Angela rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cleopatra-shelf
I think it's historical from millions of years ago
Jun 19, 2014 John rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1history, box18
Not a lot is known about the Last Queen and this book proves it.
Nov 30, 2009 Mark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Very educating
Jul 28, 2014 Leyla rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I lobe this book
Irma Fox
Jun 02, 2016 Irma Fox rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've read so many books about Cleopatra and this one by far has given me the most information about not only Cleopatra (the last queen of Egypt), but her entire (presumably) blood line that prevailed (again, presumably) after her death. Shakespeare, Dio, Plutarch, they all in one form or another created an image for Cleopatra that shaped the way we view the Hellenistic courts she commanded as well as the woman herself. Love this book! And I'll continue reading about Cleopatra- the legend and myt ...more
Dec 30, 2010 Lynda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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?
Dec 16, 2008 Robert rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Aug 04, 2009 Stacie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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!
Feb 22, 2009 Eileen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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.
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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
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