Gene's Reviews > Cleopatra: A Life

Cleopatra by Stacy Schiff
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's review
Aug 21, 2012

it was ok
bookshelves: non-fiction, history

The information in this book was fantastic. Stacy Shiff painted Cleopatra in a light I've never seen her, before. I had no idea that she wasn't truly Egyptian. I knew she was powerful, but had no idea that she was the richest person of her time. The author brought me as close to the Hellenistic world of Ceasar, Cleopatra and Antony than I have ever been. She maintained her credibility by warning me ahead of time that these characters have been presented in many ways by different people. She attempts to separate out the descriptions and motivations of the various authors in order to give her perspective on what she felt really might have happened over 2000 years ago.

While I enjoyed the things that I learned, I have to admit that this was a painful read that seemed to drag on. Toward the end, I was torn: I wanted to learn more, but didn't want to have to actually read this prose. Ultimately, I'm glad I finished it. But I have to agree with the others that say that it reads like a textbook.

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