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History Group Reads > Memoirs of Cleopatra: Scrolls 1 - 2

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message 1: by Sara W (new)

Sara W (sarawesq) | 2153 comments Please discuss The First Scroll and The Second Scroll (chapters 1 - 20) here.

message 2: by Sara W (new)

Sara W (sarawesq) | 2153 comments Just starting this one. Seems good so far. Really wish it was on the Kindle though! What a brick!

message 3: by Robin (new)

Robin (ukamerican) | 188 comments I wonder why it's not on Kindle? All her other books seem to be.

message 4: by Sara W (new)

Sara W (sarawesq) | 2153 comments Has anyone read anything about Cleopatra before? I haven't, so I didn't know anything about the whole brother-marrying-sister thing (if that's accurate - George strikes me as an author who does her research, so I would imagine it's true). I can't imagine that habit in Cleopatra's family lasted too long (I would think at some point it would be very difficult to produce healthy children). Anyone know anything about this? Was it just her family or was it an Egypt thing or a time period thing? I've come across plenty of cousins marrying and the occassional uncle-niece connection, but nothing like this!

message 5: by Robin (new)

Robin (ukamerican) | 188 comments I haven't read a huge amount about Cleopatra but I know Egyptian royalty was well known for brother-sister marriages (often half siblings, not full siblings but still some major inbreeding) and existed long before Cleopatra's time. It did produce health problems which at least at one point did end a royal line (King Tut's). Just look up the most recent DNA and medical research on King Tut, it's pretty disturbing and not really surprising he had such severe medical issues given the amount of inbreeding.

Cleopatra was actually Greek/Macedonian by descent but her ancestors adopted the Egyptian tradition of marrying their siblings. I'm not sure when or for how long the tradition was adopted so I'm not sure how much inbreeding occurred before Cleopatra's birth.

message 6: by Sara W (new)

Sara W (sarawesq) | 2153 comments This book mentions Cleopatra's Greek/Macedonian descent which I found really interesting! I had no idea that she wasn't Egyptian by descent. I guess that occurs quite a bit (that Nicholas and Alexandra book we just read as a group pointed out that either Nicholas or Alexis was something like only 1/256 Russian by descent because the rulers kept marrying Germans).

message 7: by MichelleCH (new)

MichelleCH (lalatina) | 55 comments The most interesting part for me so far is learning that Caesar's falling sickness is epilepsy. Maybe it is the time period but the story is dragging for me.

message 8: by Sara W (last edited Oct 09, 2010 04:45PM) (new)

Sara W (sarawesq) | 2153 comments Parts have dragged for me too, although I am enjoying it for the most part. It's not a book I'm likely to re-read. I'm not sure it needed to be 800-900 pages (or whatever it is). I don't really feel any connection with Cleopatra. It's an interesting glimpse at that time period for me though (which I've never read anything about except for a couple Shakespeare plays in college), and I think that's why I'm keeping with it.

message 9: by Robin (new)

Robin (ukamerican) | 188 comments I find with most of George's books, there are parts that drag simply because they're so long. I think her editor could do a little bit more to cut them back sometimes.

message 10: by Sara W (new)

Sara W (sarawesq) | 2153 comments Robin wrote: "I find with most of George's books, there are parts that drag simply because they're so long. I think her editor could do a little bit more to cut them back sometimes."

I have to agree with you there. I didn't finish Mary Magdalene. It's not that it was bad - I just got bored because it was so long and so many parts dragged here and there. It just wasn't worth finishing. I'm 600 pages into Cleopatra and I'm kind of wondering why I'm still hauling it around. I think I need to boot it to the nightstand and leave the rest as a before-bedtime read.

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