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Cleopatra: A Life

af Stacy Schiff

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MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingSamtaler / Omtaler
4,3321862,660 (3.68)1 / 371
The Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer brings to life the most intriguing woman in the history of the world: Cleopatra, the last queen of Egypt. Though her life spanned fewer than 40 years, it reshaped the contours of the ancient world.
  1. 30
    The Memoirs of Cleopatra af Margaret George (Anonym bruger)
    Anonym bruger: Although long, this is an excellent book. Written in first person and thoroughly researched, it really opens your eyes to what an outstanding person Cleopatra was.
  2. 20
    The Rise and Fall of Alexandria: Birthplace of the Modern World af Justin Pollard (davesmind)
  3. 10
    Personal History af Katharine Graham (Menagerie)
    Menagerie: Two strong women that lived centuries apart but faced many of the same obstacles.
  4. 10
    The Poison King : The Life and Legend of Mithradates, Rome's Deadliest Enemy af Adrienne Mayor (CGlanovsky)
    CGlanovsky: Both offer an outsider's (and antagonist's) perspective on Roman history.
  5. 10
    Antony and Cleopatra af Adrian Goldsworthy (bookfitz)
Indlæser...

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Gruppe EmneKommentarerSeneste Meddelelse 
 Ancient History: Cleopatra; A Life by Stacy Schiff36 ulæste / 36southernbooklady, august 2013

» Se også 371 omtaler

Engelsk (183)  Svensk (1)  Spansk (1)  Alle sprog (185)
Viser 1-5 af 185 (næste | vis alle)
I've been fascinated with Ancient Egypt in general, and Cleopatra in particular, for as long as I can remember. I was excited to read this book, but ultimately I came away somewhat disappointed. I was expecting something... grander; more magical, maybe. I understand that the author was working with limited information. Very little is known about Cleopatra's life, and what information we do have tends to contradict itself. Even so, I found the book dull in spots and slow moving. I came away with a lot of information I didn't already know, and I'm glad I read the book, but I'm going to keep looking for a better, more vivid take on this fascinating woman's life. ( )
  Elizabeth_Cooper | Oct 27, 2023 |
I can't read this anymore. Maybe it would make more sense if I knew more about that time period, but it just isn't working for me.


On hold for awhile, maybe permanently.

I'm having a hard time with this book. The author has lots of interesting information and analysis to share, but is presenting it in a somewhat haphazard fashion. I'm going to stick through to the end though.

( )
  lschiff | Sep 24, 2023 |
Make no mistake: this is an impressive work of research. However, there’s little source material for Schiff to work from (almost all of it the work of enemies or published decades after the events unfolded), and the author is cautious to remain within the confines of the evidence when drawing inferences about Cleopatra’s attributes or motives – all of which makes for an excellent work of scholarship, but not necessarily a riveting read.

Not saying I didn’t learn a lot of interesting information about Egypt under the rule of the Ptolemaic kings and Roman politics during the Caesar/Mark Antony/Octavian era – especially given that my only background knowledge was Shakespeare's Antony & Cleopatra. Parts of this I found genuinely compelling: the stark contrast between the rights of Egyptian women vs. Roman women (attributable to the fact that the Egyptian pantheon was headed by a female – Isis – rather than a male?), the elaborate civil service put in place by the Ptolemaic kings, the somewhat scary parallels between the events that led to the fall of Rome and events happening in the world now.

But am disappointed that, after 300+ pages, I don’t feel like I know much more about Cleopatra then when I began. Was she ever genuinely in love with Caesar and/or Antony, or were these relationships merely political gamesmanship by a shrewd and calculating politician? Was the prosperity experienced by Egypt during her reign due to her masterful leadership, or merely luck? Did she care about preserving Egypt, or were her decisions primarily intended to secure her own safety and pleasure? A less ethical “historian” might have provided answers, thereby crafting a less authoritative text, but perhaps also a more interesting read.

Definitely not downplaying Schiff’s accomplishment here: this is a masterful biography. Just trying to make sure potential readers know what they are getting: lots of interesting history, plenty of juicy political scheming, but not a lot of new insight into the titular queen as a daughter, a woman, a lover, or a ruler. ( )
  Dorritt | Aug 8, 2023 |
I've been staring at this book on my shelf for MANY years. I bought it at a local bookstore and one of the workers there told me it was a great fictional tale about Cleopatra. Well, they were wrong and it's actually a non-fiction retelling of her entire life. It's like a giant textbook full of archived information. It includes actual information and then commentary about fictional tales, rumours and gossip (but told in a very honest way). This book will give you all the ins and outs of Cleopatra's life. She's not Elizabeth Taylor by any means. This was a young woman who was charismatic, very beautiful and had one interesting life.

You're going to want to love history and facts to get into this book. It's all non-fiction. It's not written in a "fun" tone, it's all educational. I was honestly surprised but really loved it. It took me back to my school days and I didn't mind one bit. It was interesting seeing the footnotes, endnotes and references throughout the book. One-fourth of this book was just the references! It blew my mind but also made me respect Stacy Schiff. This book was well planned out and well researched, you can tell.

We won't ever truly know Cleopatra and her life 100%, that's for sure, but Stacy Schiff gives us a wonderful insight into this woman's insane world.

Four out of five stars. ( )
  Briars_Reviews | Aug 4, 2023 |
Very early on in this book the author talks about the myth surrounding Cleopatra and freely admits there's really no way to separate fact from fiction when it comes to telling her life story, stating that the true historical facts have been lost to time. And yet, she then proceeds to dedicate almost 300 pages giving her opinion on what she feels is the most accurate account. I've no doubt she's making an educated guess but in the long run, that's all it is . Another guess. Just another version of a story that been told many, many times before. ( )
  kevinkevbo | Jul 14, 2023 |
Viser 1-5 af 185 (næste | vis alle)
" Ideally, as Stacy Schiff observes in her magnificent re-creation of both an extraordinary woman, and her times, our sense of Cleopatra would be heightened by her dramatic appearance as the doomed heroine of a sumptuous opera (Puccini, preferably)."
tilføjet af bookfitz | RedigerThe Guardian, Miranda Seymour (Jan 21, 2011)
 
Her life of Cleopatra is slightly soft-focused, as if she has applied Vaseline to the lens. It leaves the impression that, like a student taking an exam, she knows only a little more than what she writes. Sometimes she nods; to say, as she does, that Roman women were without legal rights is incorrect, although they were not allowed to hold political office. That said, she has done her homework and writes elegantly and wittily, creating truly evocative word pictures.

 
"Successfully dissipating all the perfume, Schiff finds a remarkably complex woman—brutal and loving, dependent and independent, immensely strong but finally vulnerable."
tilføjet af bookfitz | RedigerKirkus Reviews (Sep 15, 2010)
 

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Stacy Schiffprimær forfatteralle udgaverberegnet
Ahlström, LarsOversættermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Decréau, LaurenceOversættermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Miles, RobinFortællermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
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The Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer brings to life the most intriguing woman in the history of the world: Cleopatra, the last queen of Egypt. Though her life spanned fewer than 40 years, it reshaped the contours of the ancient world.

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