Her palace shimmered with onyx and gold but was richer still in political and sexual intrigue. Above all else, Cleopatra was a shrewd strategist and an ingenious negotiator. She was married twice, each time to a brother. She waged a brutal civil war against the first and poisoned the second; incest and assassination were family specialties. She had children by Julius Caesar and Mark Antony, two of the most prominent Romans of the day. With Antony she would attempt to forge a new empire, in an alliance that spelled both their ends. Famous long before she was notorious, Cleopatra has gone down in history for all the wrong reasons. Her supple personality and the drama of her circumstances have been lost. In a masterly return to the classical sources, Stacy Schiff boldly separates fact from fiction to rescue the magnetic queen whose death ushered in a new world order.
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Stacy Schiff is the author of Véra (Mrs. Vladimir Nabokov), winner of the Pulitzer Prize; Saint-Exupéry, a Pulitzer Prize finalist; and A Great Improvisation: Franklin, France, and the Birth of America, winner of the George Washington Book Prize and the Ambassador Book Award. Schiff has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library. The recipient of an Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, she lives in New York City.From AudioFile:
This biography of Cleopatra goes well beyond the details of her life, of which little is known beyond what has been passed down from classical writers, painting a picture of life in Egypt at the end of the Hellenistic period. Robin Miles gives an expressive yet understated delivery of Cleopatra's story--one that is far more complex than the more infamous incidents she is best remembered for. Miles reads the copious footnotes in their proper place in the text, increasing her pace and softening her tone, which clearly delineates the additional information from the main text. Her measured reading, with long pauses that separate ideas, gives listeners time to take in all the details as well as draw their own conclusions about Schiff's biographical hypotheses. E.N. © AudioFile 2010, Portland, Maine
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