by Stacy Schiff
Cleopatra's palace shimmered with onyx and gold but was richer still in political and sexual intrigue.
Though her life spanned fewer than forty years, it reshaped the contours of the ancient world.
Famous long before she was notorious, Cleopatra has gone down in history for all the wrong reasons.
Stacy Schiff boldly separates fact from fiction to rescue the magnetic queen whose death ushered in a new world order, a generation before the birth of Christ.
Rich in detail, epic in scope, Schiff's is a luminous reconstruction of a dazzling life.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 400 pages, col. Illustrations, maps (some col.)
- Publisher: Ebury Publishing
- Publication Date: 07/07/2011
- Category: Biography: historical, political & military
- ISBN: 9780753539569
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Review by PhilSyphe
This bio of Cleopatra aims to debunk myths and remain unbiased. The author draws from contradicting accounts from previous historian and injects further possibilities into the mix.I liked this book but not as much as I thought I would. Think this is owing to the amount of sections devoted to the men in Cleopatra’s life rather than the queen herself. I appreciate that material on her is sparse – there is no account of her childhood whatsoever – but I feel some of the lengthy paragraphs were she doesn’t get a mention could’ve been cut down.There are, however, some amusing and interesting asides, such as the common practise of treating children going through teething: they were fed a fried mouse!I also found Cleopatra’s supposed cure for baldness rather amusing: Cleopatra was said to counsel a paste of equal parts burnt mice, burnt rag, burnt horses’ teeth, bear’s grease, deer marrow, and reed bark. Mixed with honey, the salve was to be applied to the scalp, “rubbed until it sprouts.” Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt, was in fact a Macedonian Greek. Her own recording written words were, “Let it be done,” which seems pretty cool to me.