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The Memoirs of Cleopatra: A Novel Paperback – May 15, 1998
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"The Swans of Fifth Avenue" by Melanie Benjamin
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From Library Journal
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
More About the Author
Margaret's father was in the Foreign Service and so she lived overseas for her early life, in such different places as tropical Taiwan, desert Israel, and cold war Berlin, all of which were great training for a novelist to be. She started writing 'books' about the same time as she could write at all, mainly for her own entertainment. It was a diversion she never outgrew. Her published works are: THE AUTOBIOGAPHY OF HENRY VIII, MARY QUEEN OF SCOTLAND AND THE ISLES, THE MEMOIRS OF CLEOPATRA, MARY CALLED MAGDALENE, HELEN OF TROY, ELIZABETH I, and an illustrated children's book, LUCILLE LOST.
Margaret lives in Madison, Wisconsin, and Washington DC, and has a sextagenarian tortoise as a pet.
Top Customer Reviews
On the one hand, writing a story about this period of history is a no-brainer. It's one of the most compelling love-stories of all time. You really can't screw it up. On the other hand, she does a beautiful portrayal of the major characters in the book. Caesar sweeps the reader off their feet--as if he were one of those heroes in a romance novel, flawed only insofar as his imperfections will make the reader love him. When he dies, one does feel the momentary blotting out of the sun.
Cleopatra herself, tireless, shrewd and inspiring. We wonder if we could have gone on in similar circumstances the way she did, time and time again.
In truth, but for one very talented admiral Agrippa, our lives could all be very different today. Antony might have been the perfection that died with Caesar. But with the war having gone the other way, it's Antony that had to be the greatest challenge to Margaret George as a writer. Lets face it. He's history's biggest loser. And all the propaganda of the time paints him as unmanly, foolish, drunken, and weak. Margaret George uses his letters to revive a different kind of Antony. One who is manly and warm-hearted, and dreadfully, tragically, honorable.
Margaret George makes Antony lovable in a way that even Richard Burton's massive acting talent, Elizabeth Taylor's passion, and all the money in Hollywood could not. And for that alone, she must be honored.
'The Memoirs of Cleopatra' did read a little more like a romance novel than George's other books, although it's hard to blame her - Cleopatra is a bit more romantic a subject than Henry VIII. And while I did find that I began to be suspicious of the sympathetic treatment 'Memoirs' gave its subject, I don't believe that is a shortcoming, but rather an inevitability of a good biographer identifying with her subject.
I disagree with other reviewers that the book was too long; while Cleopatra's life was short, it was thick with events too important to leave out of her life story. On the whole I found the book entertaining and educational; what more can you ask for?
I laughed with Cleopatra, I cried with her, I fell in love with Marc Antony, and I hated Octavian. Ms George is a writer of exquisite talent. She brings to life an epic time period, major historical events, and bigger than life characters realistically, beliveably and seamlessly.
I would recommend this book, and I am looking forward to reading her other works.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Ahh Margaret George does it again. I love Ancient Egypt. This book is written from Cleopatra's POV from early childhood memories to her amazing death. Read morePublished 8 days ago by Amber Marie Lane
So some people might not like certain things i say in this review, but oh well it's how I feel.
I'm growing so tired of Female authors. (even though J.K. Read more
I started reading my daughters copy a couple of years ago and wasn't able to finish but I will finish it this time, great work working fact with fictionPublished 2 months ago by Marsha C.
I like this book. It was very fascinating to read about Cleopatra and how she excelled in a man's worldPublished 3 months ago by Cheryl Dees
One of my nurses recommended this book; I am so glad I read it. My mother would have enjoyed it, also. Thank you, Ms. George, for your rendition of Cleopatra.Published 4 months ago by Diane
Since published, discoveries have been made in Alexandria which remarkably are a fit to this adventure. An amazing journey for the reader. A vividly told tale. Read morePublished 4 months ago by David Patrick Taylor
I am always in awe of Ms. George's research and detailed knowledge of her subjects and the time and place in which they lived. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Betsy Brown
I learned a great deal about Cleopatra, and her reign as queen of Egypt. It was well researched and thorough. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Amazon Customer