Cleopatra: A Life is the definitive biography of Cleopatra, the most intriguing woman in the history of the world. Stacy Schiff brings to life an impressive figure and a remarkable story—the last queen of Egypt and her destiny to become one of history’s most infamous figures. As the bestselling biographer of George Washington, Martha Washington, and Thomas Jefferson, Stacy Schiff chronicles the life of this miniature queen – from her childhood in the palace at Alexandria to her fateful meeting with Marc Antony.
Stacy Schiff’s intimate portrait of Cleopatra the Proud explores her complex character, setting her within the context of her times. We see the young queen on the battlefield, at war with Rome; in Rome, as a mistress and adviser to Julius Caesar; in Egypt, as a queen and seducer; in Rome again, as a mother of Caesar’s daughter Julia and later mistress to Mark Antony. Schiff paints a vivid picture of Cleopatra’s palace-on this side of the pyramids-built by slaves and Romans working together.
Known to history as “the last queen of Egypt,” Cleopatra VII was a remarkable woman, described by her contemporaries as a “living legend,” a clever politician and marketplace negotiator who managed to survive the political competition and economic sanctions of Julius Caesar and Alexander the Great. Many titles in this series are newly released or out-of-print—now you can find them all under one cover!
About Cleopatra: A Life Book
The Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer brings to life the most intriguing woman in the history of the world: Cleopatra, the last queen of Egypt.
Her palace shimmered with onyx, garnets, and gold but was richer still in a political and sexual intrigue. Above all else, Cleopatra was a shrewd strategist and an ingenious negotiator.
Though her 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. She poisoned the second. Ultimately she dispensed with an ambitious sister as well; incest and assassination were family specialties. Cleopatra appears to have had sex with only two men. They happen, however, to have been Julius Caesar and Mark Antony, among the most prominent Romans of the day. Both were married to other women. Cleopatra had a child with Caesar and–after his murder–three more with his protégé. Already she was the wealthiest ruler in the Mediterranean; her relationship with Antony confirmed her status as the most influential woman of the age. The two would attempt to forge a new empire in an alliance that spelled their ends together. Cleopatra has lodged herself in our imaginations ever since.
Famous long before she was notorious, Cleopatra has gone down in history for all the wrong reasons. Shakespeare and Shaw put words in her mouth. Michelangelo, Tiepolo, and Elizabeth Taylor put a face to her name. Cleopatra’s supple personality and the drama of her circumstances have been lost along the way. 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. Rich in detail, and epic in scope, Schiff ‘s is a luminous, deeply original reconstruction of a vivid life.