☯Emily 's Reviews > Cleopatra: A Life

Cleopatra by Stacy Schiff
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's review
Feb 03, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: history, biography
Read from February 03 to 29, 2012 , read count: 1

Interesting look at Cleopatra and the power she wielded over the Roman leaders until she encountered Octavian (later renamed Augustus Caesar). The first two chapters could have been less boring, but after the background information about Cleopatra's ancestry, the book came alive and was hard to put down. The author had to create a picture of Cleopatra from limited sources that were written by the "winners" in the Roman/Egypt conflicts. Was she a highly-sexed woman who specialized in seductions or was she an intelligent, perceptive woman who ruled her country well?

The book needed editing. There would be paragraphs discussing one topic and, inexplicably, the topic would change mid-paragraph. In other words, there was no continuity in thought. Some sentences were ungrammatical and required rereading several times before full comprehension was attained. One example is as follows: "He (Octavian) had too cause to note 'that no high position is ever free from envy or treachery, and least of all a monarchy.'"

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02/03/2012 page 13
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