Book Review - Cleopatra A Life

 By: Scott A Leger
"Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale
Her infinite variety..." William Shakespeare in Antony and Cleopatra.

Cleopatra VII, the last pharaoh of Ancient Egypt, the reincarnation of the Egyptian God Isis, remains a popular traditional figure in the Western culture. Her legacy survives in numerous works of art and literature including William Shakespeare's tragedy Antony and Cleopatra and the 1963 film Cleopatra.

The Pulitzer Prize-winning author Stacy Schiff tells us the true story of the life of the powerful and beautiful woman in her new biography Cleopatra: A Life. This 21st century book on the life of the woman behind the myth gives us the clue why to this day her life still intrigues us.

For all her ill-fame along with her glory and honor, Cleopatra has gone down the path of history for all wrong reasons. Incest and assassination seemed to be their family heritage. In her life- span of forty years she was married twice, each time to a brother. She waged a brutal civil war against the first one while she poisoned the second. She had unethical relationships with Julius Caesar and Mark Antony, the most prominent Romans of the day. Her relationship with Antony endorsed her influential status in the society and their alliance ultimately doomed them to their ends.

Shakespeare has put words to Cleopatra's mouth; Elizabeth Taylor has put face to her name; but all along the way her true personality has been somewhat lost and forgotten. In her book Stacy Schiff recasts Cleopatra's splendid life in a new light where fact is boldly separated from fiction.

Readers are bound to be thankful to Stacy Schiff because this book shows that Cleopatra was much more than a seductress. She had excellent wit, charm and intelligence. So far her biography has only been written by patriarchal Romans, her biggest enemies. This biography will bring a major change in your understanding the character of Cleopatra.

Most importantly, Schiff has portrayed Cleopatra's character in a contemporary way, most relevant to this 21st century. Schiff's writing style is very subtle, meaningful and full of insight that makes the book a compelling read.

If you want to read the best historical biography of the year, I would recommend you to choose Cleopatra: A life as the best option. It will definitely help you in better understanding of the enigmatic mythical character.
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