Stacy Schiff’s Cleopatra: A Life

Cleopatra: A Life by Stacy Schiff | LibraryThing

Schiff, S. (2010). Cleopatra: A life. New York: Little, Brown and Co. 9780316001922

When selecting books, I usually choose fiction. Of course, I’m still participating in the Non-Fiction Challenge. My favorite Non-Fiction genre would be Biography. Within Biography, Cleopatra has been a top pick for me. She was powerful and charming and rather pecular in a world dominated by men. Seeing Stacy Schiff’s recent book on Cleopatra, I naturally added my name to HCPL’s waiting list for this book.

After much research, Schiff endeavors to render a true, living color portrait of the enigmatic Cleopatra. She richly recreates the everyday life of Cleopatra and her contemporaries as she relates the great rise and fall of this unforgettable figure.

This biography filled my plate with much food for thought. I’m unaware of any other Cleopatra biography that offers this much to ponder. As I don’t care for spoilers, I’ll leave it to future readers to discover those various gems. One side note which I doubt reveals much is about Cicero rather than Cleopatra; this pompous man was an excellent writer and Schiff conveyed that well.

My biggest gripe about the book would be the huge words which had me reaching for the dictionary countless times. I felt as though I were in my first year of college again.

Four Out of Five Pearls

Places: Egypt, Rome, and most of the Ancient Near East  

Song:  Tal Bachman – She’s So High – YouTube

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4 thoughts on “Stacy Schiff’s Cleopatra: A Life

  1. This is the only biography of Cleopatra that I’ve read – I was fascinated by the way Schiff described her life (the daily life, as well as the events specific to Cleo’s life and death) … so many vivid details supported by historical research.

    I’ll have to look at the other Cleopatra bios that you’ve read.

    Thanks for linking to my review, Jorie!

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