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Starred Review. From its opening strains of music, this audiobook of Schiff's stellar biography of the Egyptian queen rewards the intellect and the senses. As Schiff dusts away history's spider webs, romance's distortions, and sexism's corruptions to reveal the true (or at least the truest possible) portrait of Cleopatra, Robin Miles's voice is deep, confiding, the perfect instrument to introduce a history that has been variously forgotten, misunderstood, or suppressed. Her enunciation is crisp, her pacing pure charm: she wrings every sentence for meaning, irony, and wit, taking us through pages of description or analysis with a stately pace. A Little, Brown hardcover. (Nov.)
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For those who think they know enough about Cleopatra or have the enigmatic Egyptian queen all figured out, think again. Schiff, demonstrating the same narrative flair that captivated readers of her Pulitzer Prize–winning Véra (Mrs. Vladimir Nabokov) (1999), provides a new interpretation of the life of one of history’s most enduringly intriguing women. Rather than a devastatingly beautiful femme fatale, Cleopatra, according to Schiff, was a shrewd power broker who knew how to use her manifold gifts—wealth, power, and intelligence—to negotiate advantageous political deals and military alliances. Though long on facts and short on myth, this stellar biography is still a page-turner; in fact, because this portrait is grounded so thoroughly in historical context, it is even more extraordinary than the more fanciful legend. Cleopatra emerges as a groundbreaking female leader, relying on her wits, determination, and political acumen rather than sex appeal to astutely wield her power in order to get the job done. Ancient Egypt never goes out of style, and Cleopatra continues to captivate successive generations. --Margaret Flanagan --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.See all Editorial Reviews
Good read about a fascinating woman and leader. I like the way Stacy Schiff looks at how different ancient writers tailored the Cleopatra persona for their audiences at the time... Read morePublished 8 days ago by Rosalind R. Williams
More about the Romans than Cleopatra. They were, of course, important in her life but I wanted a bit more about her and her relationships with her subjects and children.Published 12 days ago by Barbara Madison
I absolutely loved this book. The narrative, the history, everything. Very detailed, yet captivating.Published 23 days ago by Arisay Martinez
A very detailed but fast paced biography. Highly recommend it The author did a good job staying unbiased and balanced in her retelling.Published 27 days ago by H.
I love history, but ancient history has always been my favorite. Cleopatra and her time of reign is beyond love. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Reviewer Girl