The Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer brings the last queen of Egypt to life in a “captivating” (New York Times) and “exceptionally artful” (New Yorker) biography that has become a modern classic. A New York Times Book Review Best Book of the Year
Though Cleopatra’s life spanned fewer than forty years, it reshaped the contours of the ancient world. She was married twice, each time to a brother. She waged a brutal civil war against the first when both were teenagers and she poisoned the second; incest and assassination were family specialties.
Cleopatra had a child with Julius Caesar and — after his murder — three more with his protégé, Mark Antony. Already she was the wealthiest ruler in the Mediterranean; the relationship with Antony confirmed her status as the most influential woman of the age.
Famous long before she was notorious, Cleopatra has gone down in history for all the wrong reasons. Along the way, her supple personality and the drama of her circumstances have been lost. In a masterly return to the classical sources, Stacy Schiff here boldly separates fact from fiction to rescue the magnetic queen whose death ushered in a new world order. Rich in detail, epic in scope, Schiff ‘s is a luminous, deeply original reconstruction of a dazzling life.
“Captivating…A cinematic portrait far more complex and compelling than any fictional creation, and a wide, panning picture of Cleopatra’s world.” –Michiko Kakutani, New York Times