Lindz-o's Reviews > Cleopatra: A Life

Cleopatra by Stacy Schiff
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's review
Jan 18, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: read-in-2012
Read in January, 2012

Of course I wanted to read this book. Cleopatra is my favorite historical person and I've always been fascinated by her. Stacy Schiff did a beautiful job telling yet another version of the last pharaoh's life. Excellent writing that is so good I now want to read everything she's ever written.

I learned so much from this book, and not just about the life of Cleopatra VII. This is a very meaty biography that also delves into the lives of Caesar, Antony, Cicero, Octavian, King Herod, and the empires of Rome and Alexandria. I feel smarter and more informed for having read it, which is always a bonus. So much interesting stuff here.

This review is delayed and not doing the book justice at all. I was spellbound. Still, I felt readers have to take at least some of the story with a grain of salt. How much can we really know about what went on thousands of years ago (B.C.!)? But Schiff relies partly on ancient Greek and Roman historians and pits them against each other, leading the reader to conclude that Cleopatra, probably the most powerful woman of her time, was vilified in her time and remains misunderstood to this day.

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