Thursday, September 5, 2013

"Cleopatra: A Life"

my take: I'm always, always, always glad to have read a biography once it's done (and I'm almost always, always, always a bit crabby reading it). For this one, I didn't realize it was a biography and I was looking forward to stealing away to ancient Egypt for a bit of romance, intrigue, epic battles, opulence ... in a novel-y sort of way. As in, reel me in and entertain me.

Okay. So. It's a biography. Which is not a recline with grapes dangling kind of experience. RATS. AND there was romance, intrigue, battles, and plenty of opulence. It was just a bit more of the sit up and pay attention kind of read. (Or fall asleep a couple paragraphs in if it's after 11 p.m.)

The quotes on the back cover would have you believe this is an amazing read ... that might be overstating it. Stacy Schiff says she's not going to speculate on Cleo's life ... and yet, she must as she refutes the known historical records (written by men - Romans, even!) and movie versions to try to find a more credible, historically accurate version of the Egyptian queen. In her opinion.

Okay, so I learned a lot. One unexpected benefit was that Cleo lived in the generation before the birth of Jesus and it was really interesting to me to understand more of the historical/political scene and know the background of the main players (Herod, Caesar). And let's face it, the girl was WAY ahead of her time, as was Egypt. It's hard to believe the Middle Ages come later ...

We had an excellent discussion ... chick Patty procured 6 copies plus questions from the Spring Lake Library.

my source: Book Chicks August/Biography pick

my verdict: Hmmm. Pretty good for a biography.

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