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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
Unaware of the 2010 debut of Stacy Schiff’s Cleopatra: A Life and the respective hype and Top 10 lists it graced by year’s end, I had neither the gargantuan expectations nor axe to... Read morePublished 7 days ago by Steve
I loved the historical detail, but it was almost too descriptive at times which made it a bit cumbersome to read.Published 19 days ago by Caroline
Extraordinary adventure with Cleopatra. fascinating details of her life and of the politics and culture of world in which she lived.Published 26 days ago by Susan Jane
Interesting history of the times of Cleopatra and of Egypt and Rome.It brings her into reality, not the Hollywood version of what they presumed to be.Published 1 month ago by Joan D
I knew nothing about this period of our history. Stacy Schiff's book is wonderful, well written and researched. I have enjoyed it very muchPublished 1 month ago by Herbert Weidner
Perhaps I was expecting something a bit more academic, something that actually told me what we could reasonably know about Cleopatra. Read morePublished 1 month ago by PTR