Her palace shimmered with onyx, garnets, and gold, but was richer still in 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; the relationship with Antony confirmed her status as the most influential woman of the age. The two would together attempt to forge a new empire, in an alliance that spelled their ends. 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. Along the way, Cleopatra's 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.
It began in 1692, over an exceptionally raw Massachusetts winter, when a minister's daughter began to scream and convulse. It ended less than a year later, but not before 19 men and women had been hanged and an elderly man crushed to death.
The panic spread quickly, involving the most educated men and prominent politicians in the colony. Neighbors accused neighbors, parents and children each other. Aside from suffrage, the Salem Witch Trials represent the only moment when women played the central role in American history. In curious ways, the trials would shape the future republic.
As psychologically thrilling as it is historically seminal, THE WITCHES is Stacy Schiff's account of this fantastical story-the first great American mystery unveiled fully for the first time by one of our most acclaimed historians.
Winner of the 2000 Pulitzer Prize for biography and hailed by critics as both “monumental” (The Boston Globe) and “utterly romantic” (New York magazine), Stacy Schiff’s Véra (Mrs. Vladimir Nabokov) brings to shimmering life one of the greatest literary love stories of our time. Vladimir Nabokov—the émigré author of Lolita; Pale Fire; and Speak, Memory—wrote his books first for himself, second for his wife, Véra, and third for no one at all.
“Without my wife,” he once noted, “I wouldn’t have written a single novel.” Set in prewar Europe and postwar America, spanning much of the century, the story of the Nabokovs’ fifty-two-year marriage reads as vividly as a novel. Véra, both beautiful and brilliant, is its outsized heroine—a woman who loves as deeply and intelligently as did the great romantic heroines of Austen and Tolstoy. Stacy Schiff's Véra is a triumph of the biographical form.
In December of 1776 a small boat delivered an old man to France." So begins an enthralling narrative account of how Benjamin Franklin--seventy years old, without any diplomatic training, and possessed of the most rudimentary French--convinced France, an absolute monarchy, to underwrite America's experiment in democracy.
When Franklin stepped onto French soil, he well understood he was embarking on the greatest gamble of his career. By virtue of fame, charisma, and ingenuity, Franklin outmaneuvered British spies, French informers, and hostile colleagues; engineered the Franco-American alliance of 1778; and helped to negotiate the peace of 1783. The eight-year French mission stands not only as Franklin's most vital service to his country but as the most revealing of the man.
In A Great Improvisation, Stacy Schiff draws from new and little-known sources to illuminate the least-explored part of Franklin's life. Here is an unfamiliar, unforgettable chapter of the Revolution, a rousing tale of American infighting, and the treacherous backroom dealings at Versailles that would propel George Washington from near decimation at Valley Forge to victory at Yorktown. From these pages emerge a particularly human and yet fiercely determined Founding Father, as well as a profound sense of how fragile, improvisational, and international was our country's bid for independence.
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry disappeared at age forty-four during a reconnaissance flight over southern France. At the time he was best known for a career of daring flights over the Sahara, the Pyrenees, and Patagonia and for his contributions to the science of aviation. But the solitary hours he spent above the earth in open cockpit airplanes gave birth to a more famous legacy, a series of enchanting, autobiographical novels and the classic story The Little Prince, still the most translated book in the French language.
An impoverished aristocrat from one of France's oldest families, Saint-Exupéry moved at age twenty-seven to the western Sahara Desert, to live alone in a plank shack and manage the way station for the Aéropostale, the French mail service. His careers as a novelist and an aviator were born here, and his life once he returned to Europe was defined--with brilliant and catastrophic results--by the sense of isolated fascination and curiosity he developed in the desert.
In this definitive biography, Pulitzer Prize winner Stacy Schiff reveals an intrepid and unconventional life that rivals the best adventure stories.
We all know about Cleopatra VII, her seductive ways, her wanton affairs with two of the mightiest men of Rome and her demise by an asp bite. We picture her as Elizabeth Taylor in the 1960's eponymous flop and think of Mark Antony as Richard Burton. We know all about her. Or do we?
According to biographer Stacy Schiff, we do not even know what Cleopatra looked like. We've seen some coins and sculptures purporting to be Cleopatra. We do know that she ruled in Egypt for 22 tumultuous years, trying to keep her kingdom from being absorbed by the rapacious, provincial Romans. She had a child by Julius Ceasar and three more children by Mark Antony. But who was this remarkable last Pharaoh of Egypt?
MEET THE AUTHOR
Paul Kraly and Paula Kalamaras are award-winning, professional screenwriters, novelists, literary agents, freelance writers & researchers. They have over 25 years experience writing just about anything for anybody. They are owned by their three cats Grimalkin, Mystery and Karma.
EXCERPT FROM THE BOOK
From the age of eighteen, until her death twenty-two years later at thirty-nine, Cleopatra VII Philopator was the acknowledged ruler of Egypt. For several years, she was exiled within her country by her brother Ptolemy XIII's advisers and forced to raise her own army. Cleopatra was more than up to the challenge and at age 21, smuggled herself (either in a bag or a rug, depending on which historian you read) into the palace where Julius Caesar was living and presented herself to him. This audacious act typified how Cleopatra reigned and attempted to keep her kingdom as an ally of Rome, rather than a province.
When you strip away all the Roman propagandizing and vilifying of this powerful woman, you find that Cleopatra was a savvy, intelligent, highly educated ruler with a clear vision of the practical politics of her day.
“Never sisters loved each other better than we.”—Abigail Adams in a letter to her sister Mary, June 1776
Much has been written about the enduring marriage of President John Adams and his wife, Abigail. But few know of the equally strong bond Abigail shared with her sisters, Mary Cranch and Elizabeth Shaw Peabody, accomplished women in their own right. Now acclaimed biographer Diane Jacobs reveals their moving story, which unfolds against the stunning backdrop of America in its transformative colonial years.
Abigail, Mary, and Elizabeth Smith grew up in Weymouth, Massachusetts, the close-knit daughters of a minister and his wife. When the sisters moved away from one another, they relied on near-constant letters—from what John Adams called their “elegant pen”—to buoy them through pregnancies, illnesses, grief, political upheaval, and, for Abigail, life in the White House. Infusing her writing with rich historical perspective and detail, Jacobs offers fascinating insight into these progressive women’s lives: oldest sister Mary, who became de facto mayor of her small village; youngest sister Betsy, an aspiring writer who, along with her husband, founded the second coeducational school in the United States; and middle child Abigail, who years before becoming First Lady ran the family farm while her husband served in the Continental Congress, first in Philadelphia, and was then sent to France and England, where she joined him at last.
This engaging narrative traces the sisters’ lives from their childhood sibling rivalries to their eyewitness roles during the American Revolution and their adulthood as outspoken wives and mothers. They were women ahead of their time who believed in intellectual and educational equality between the sexes. Drawing from newly discovered correspondence, never-before-published diaries, and archival research, Dear Abigail is a fascinating front-row seat to history—and to the lives of three exceptional women who were influential during a time when our nation’s democracy was just taking hold.
Advance praise for Dear Abigail
“In a beautifully wrought narrative, Diane Jacobs has brought the high-spirited, hyperarticulate Smith sisters, and the early years of the American republic, to rich, luminous life. . . . A stunning, sensitive work of history.”—Stacy Schiff, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Cleopatra
“Jacobs is a superb storyteller. In this sweeping narrative about family and friendship during the American Revolution, Abigail Adams emerges as one of the great political heroines of the eighteenth century. I fell in love with her all over again.”—Amanda Foreman, New York Times bestselling author of A World on Fire
“Beauty, brains, and breeding—Elizabeth, Abigail, and Mary had them all. This absorbing history shows how these close-knit and well-educated daughters of colonial America become women of influence in the newly begotten United States. Jacobs’s feel for the period is confident; so is her appreciation of the nuances of character.”—Daniel Mark Epstein, author of The Lincolns: Portrait of a Marriage
From the Hardcover edition.
ECONOMIST BOOK OF THE YEAR
FINANCIAL TIMES BOOK OF THE YEAR
Film rights acquired by Gold Circle Films, the team behind My Big Fat Greek Wedding
“A fresh, thrilling portrait… Guy’s Elizabeth is deliciously human.”
–Stacy Schiff, The New York Times Book Review
A groundbreaking reconsideration of our favorite Tudor queen, Elizabeth is an intimate and surprising biography that shows her at the height of her power.
Elizabeth was crowned queen at twenty-five, but it was only when she reached fifty and all hopes of a royal marriage were behind her that she began to wield power in her own right. For twenty-five years she had struggled to assert her authority over advisers, who pressed her to marry and settle the succession; now, she was determined not only to reign but to rule. In this magisterial biography, John Guy introduces us to a woman who is refreshingly unfamiliar: at once powerful and vulnerable, willful and afraid. We see her confronting challenges at home and abroad: war against France and Spain, revolt in Ireland, an economic crisis that triggers riots in the streets of London, and a conspiracy to place her cousin Mary Queen of Scots on her throne. For a while she is smitten by a much younger man, but can she allow herself to act on that passion and still keep her throne?
For the better part of a decade John Guy mined long-overlooked archives, scouring handwritten letters and court documents to sweep away myths and rumors. This prodigious historical detective work has enabled him to reveal, for the first time, the woman behind the polished veneer: determined, prone to fits of jealous rage, wracked by insecurity, often too anxious to sleep alone. At last we hear her in her own voice expressing her own distinctive and surprisingly resonant concerns. Guy writes like a dream, and this combination of groundbreaking research and propulsive narrative puts him in a class of his own.
"Significant, forensic and myth-busting, John Guy inspires total confidence in a narrative which is at once pacey and rich in detail."
-- Anna Whitelock, TLS
“Most historians focus on the early decades, with Elizabeth’s last years acting as a postscript to the beheading of Mary Queen of Scots and the defeat of the Spanish Armada. Guy argues that this period is crucial to understanding a more human side of the smart redhead.” – The Economist, Book of the Year
It’s 1941. Babe throws like a boy, thinks for herself, and never expects to escape the poor section of her quiet Massachusetts town. Then World War II breaks out, and everything changes. Her friend Grace, married to a reporter on the local paper, fears being left alone with her infant daughter when her husband ships out; Millie, the third member of their childhood trio, now weds the boy who always refused to settle down; and Babe wonders if she should marry Claude, who even as a child could never harm a living thing. As the war rages abroad, life on the home front undergoes its own battles and victories; and when the men return, and civilian life resumes, nothing can go back to quite the way it was.
From postwar traumas to women’s rights, racial injustice to anti-Semitism, Babe, Grace, and Millie experience the dislocations, the acute pains, and the exhilaration of a society in flux. Along the way, they will learn what it means to be a wife, a mother, a friend, a fighter, and a survivor. Beautiful, startling, and heartbreaking, Next to Love is a love letter to the brave women who shaped a nation’s destiny.
“Impossible to put down.” —Stacy Schiff
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The Little Prince is revered around the world. Two hundred million copies have been sold in 270 languages; it is the fourth best-selling book of all time. Part of its allure is that is seems incredibly wise but so simple it is read as a work for children. Yet its meaning is elusive, and its place amid the writings of an adventurer and war hero acclaimed for dramatic bestsellers like Night Flight and Flight to Arras is mysterious.
In this elegant, carefully argued book, Pierre Lassus reexamines the story of The Little Prince against the facts of Saint-Exupéry's own extraordinary life, from his cherished but fatherless childhood in aristocratic poverty to his career as a pioneering pilot. His plane had broken down in the desert before. He had adopted a fox, when posted at the Spanish fort of Cape Juby, in southern Morocco. He had known the world of business before becoming pilot; he had also known unrequited love. Like his little protagonist's, his body was never found after his plane disappeared in World War II. He was working on his spiritual autobiography when he died, and there too, Lassus finds resonances and keys to the understated spirituality of his last great book.
Ever since first publication in 1927 it has been attracting this sort of praise. It is an unusual book comprising nine chapters each one being a sort of character sketch: Miss Plimsoll; J. D. Marstock; Lambert Orme; The Marquis de Chaumont; Jeanne de Henaut; Titty; Professor Malone; Arketall; Miriam Codd. The author himself writes, a little disingenuously, 'Many of the following sketches are purely imaginary. Such truths as they may contain are only half-truths.' In fact, it would be difficult to point to one, other than Miriam Codd, that was 'purely imaginary', some were composite portraits, others skilful amalgams of divers traits from a variety of different people, and others much more overtly drawn from one real-life figure, for example Lambert Orme clearly represents Ronald Firbank, and Arketall Lord Curzon's bibulous valet.
There is nothing else quite like Some People and in its own playful way is beyond category. To be tedious for a moment, we have to call it fiction but are then immediately thrown by Virginia Woolf's deft summary, 'He lies in wait for his own absurdities as artfully as theirs. Indeed by the end of the book we realize that the figure which has been most completely and most subtly displayed is that of the author . . . It is thus, he would seem to say, in the mirrors of our friends that we chiefly live.'
Fiction? Biography? Autobiography? - the category doesn't matter, the result is spellbinding however you choose to read it.
On a tour through history that’s both whimsical and startling, we’ll encounter seventeenth-century children flying around inside their New England home “like geese.” We’ll meet a father-son team of pious Puritans who embarked on a mission that involved undressing ladies and overseeing hangings. And on the eve of the Civil War, we’ll accompany a reporter as he dons a dress and goes searching for witches in New York City’s most dangerous neighborhoods.
Entertainingly readable and rich in amazing details often left out of today’s texts, American Witches casts a flickering torchlight into the dark corners of American history.
Stephanie Meyer is the author of Twilight, which is book one in the four-book saga. It's argued that this is a five book series. However the fifth book, Midnight Sun, is still a work in progress with no foreseeable publication date. She also wrote a short novella, "The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner". Meyer is an English Literature major and is raising three boys in Phoenix
The distinguished historian and classicist Michael Grant confirms that her reputation as a temptress was well-founded. However, by unravelling the sources behind the tangle of myth, gossip and invention he shows that the popular image of a wayward woman opting for a life of sensuous luxury and neglecting her affairs of state is far from the truth.
A brilliant linguist and the first of her Greek-speaking dynasty who learned Egyptian, she was reputed to be the author of treatises on agriculture, make-up and alchemy. Her love affairs were carefully calculated to further her plans to restore her empire to its former greatness and she was a ruthless foe to all who stood in her way.
But dead on her golden couch in the palace at Alexandria her life seemed to have ended in failure; her dreams of empire shattered; her lover Mark Antony a suicide himself and she a prisoner of her conqueror Octavian.
An unforgettable portrait of an extraordinary queen and her stormy life.
Designed as an accessible introduction to Cleopatra VII and her time, this book offers readers and researchers an appealing mix of descriptive chapters, biographical sketches, and annotated primary documents. An overview of the Ptolemaic Dynasty is presented in the introduction, and is followed by chapters on Cleopatra's life, the reality of Ptolemaic Egypt, Cleopatra's multicultural Egyptian society, and Alexandria's culture and conflicts. The narrative chapters conclude with a section discussing Cleopatra's significance as a person, a queen, and a symbol. An annotated bibliography and index are also included in this work.
The subject of myth for more than two millennia, Cleopatra was a woman of passion, magnetism, and political genius, the last and greatest Egyptian pharaoh. In this mesmerizing biography, Egyptologist Joann Fletcher draws on a wealth of newly discovered information and research to reveal this vital woman as she truly was, from her first meeting with Julius Caesar to her legendary death by snakebite.
Cleopatra the Great tells the story of a turbulent time and the extraordinary woman at its center. A polymath monarch, she was also a potent combination of traditionalist and innovator, astute enough to realize what was necessary for Egypt’s continued prosperity and sufficiently ruthless to allow nothing to stand in her way.
Yet our understanding of Cleopatra has been obscured by Roman propaganda, Shakespearean tragedy, and Hollywood glamour. Cleopatra the Great pieces together the pharaoh’s ancient world with details about her massive library and infamous banquets, her relationships with both Julius Caesar and Mark Antony, and her skillful use of fashion and style to further her ambitions and her mystique. Intelligent and compulsively readable, here is an unparalleled biography worthy of its subject.
Malcolm Gladwell is a staff writer for The New Yorker and author of a number of multiple bestsellers including The Tipping Point, Outliers and Blink.
Gladwell was inspired to write Blink after three police officers detained him because he resembled a rapist. When Gladwell realized that he and the rapist only shared a similar haircut, he began to think about how much emphasis people put on their instant perceptions. Blink is Gladwell's venture into the world of rapid cognition. Through his research, Gladwell found that humans are strongly influenced by the rapid judgments they make on a daily basis. However, because these judgments are made in the blink of an eye, we have trouble understanding them. Gladwell argues that, when practiced and perfected, we have the ability to improve the accuracy of our snap judgments. In the end, better snap judgments can lead to a better world.
Blink is a very popular book that has spent time as a #1 National Bestseller. While most feedback on the book has been positive, there have been a number of critics that claim Gladwell does not form one cohesive argument and that he relies on flimsy evidence. Yet these critics have not affected the book's popularity, as it has sold over 2 million copies.
The interaction between traditional and democratic ideas of legitimacy transformed the international system by the early nineteenth century, when people began to take for granted the desirability of equality, individual rights, and restraint of power. Using an interpretive, historically sensitive approach to international relations, the author considers the complex interplay between elite discourses about political legitimacy and strategic power struggles within and among states. She shows how culture, power, and interests interacted to produce a crucial yet poorly understood case of international change.
The book not only shows the limits of liberal and realist theories of international relations, but also demonstrates how aspects of these theories can be integrated with insights derived from a constructivist perspective that takes culture and legitimacy seriously. The author finds that cultural contests over the terms of political legitimacy constitute one of the central mechanisms by which the character of sovereignty is transformed in the international system--a conclusion as true today as it was in the eighteenth century.
Heaven Is For Real is a non-fiction inspirational Christian bestseller written by Todd Burpo about his four-year-old son Colton's trip to heaven and back. Todd Burpo works as a pastor at Wesleyan Crossroads Church in Imperial, Nebraska. He wrote Heaven Is For Real with the assistance of Lynn Vincent, who has authored or co-authored nine books, including Same Kind of Different as Me and Sarah Palin's biography Going Rogue: An American Life.
After Burpo's son was hospitalized, he began astounding his parents with descriptions of heaven, including meetings with long-dead relatives. Todd Burpo put his son's statements into book form because he wanted others to know the truth about God and heaven. Three weeks after it was released in November 2010, Heaven Is For Real debuted at #3 on the New York Times bestseller list. By January 2011, there were 20,000 copies in print, and the book hit #1 on the New York Times list.
Quicklets: Your Reading Sidekick!
Rome cast Cleopatra as a threat to the order of its own crumbling republic. To them, she represented decadence, corruption, and temptation. Yet as Foss shows with clarity and insight, Cleopatra played her hand in the only manner she could. Determined that her kingdom survive, she was prepared to do whatever it took to retain power, and very nearly achieved dominance of the whole of the eastern Mediterranean world. When she finally surrendered her ambitions, it was with a larger-than-life flare that has since inspired ancient chroniclers. Fully-illustrated, and impeccably documented, The Search for Cleopatra sets before us the most absorbing figure of the ancient world.
Skyhorse Publishing, along with our Arcade, Good Books, Sports Publishing, and Yucca imprints, is proud to publish a broad range of biographies, autobiographies, and memoirs. Our list includes biographies on well-known historical figures like Benjamin Franklin, Nelson Mandela, and Alexander Graham Bell, as well as villains from history, such as Heinrich Himmler, John Wayne Gacy, and O. J. Simpson. We have also published survivor stories of World War II, memoirs about overcoming adversity, first-hand tales of adventure, and much more. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller or a national bestseller, we are committed to books on subjects that are sometimes overlooked and to authors whose work might not otherwise find a home.
Trow draws on recent archaeological finds and fresh interpretations of ancient texts to separate truth from myth and set this incomparably beautiful queen in context.
A presente edição oferece um variado conjunto de fotos e a mais completa filmografia do gênio. Inclui também novo material revelador acerca dos casamentos de Chaplin, seu caso com a atriz Louise Brooks, a perseguição que ele sofreu do FBI durante a caça aos comunistas, revelando o papel da agência no caso de “prostituição” aberto contra ele, e a importância do filme de Richard Attenborough, Chaplin.
I should be grateful that I had a ringside seat to the monstrous scenario Ted Bundy acted out as...the “glamour boy of homicide”... I am not grateful. I would rather I’d never had a book of my own, much less twenty-nine and that Ted’s victims had lived...If only I had the power to make none of it real.” (The Stranger Beside Me xii-xiii)
The Stranger Beside Me is at once an autobiographical book and a true crime expose. Published originally in 1980, nine years before Ted Bundy’s execution, it has been revised and updated in 1986, 1989, 2000 and in 2008-9 to coincide with the twentieth anniversary of Bundy’s execution.
The Stranger Beside Me was the book that began Ann Rule’s successful career as a true crime writer. What makes the 20th anniversary reissue of the book so intriguing is that Ann Rule has returned to this seminal book, adding chapters and insight into her odd relationship with one of the United States’ worst serial killers, Theodore Robert Bundy or “Ted” as she calls him. While sitting next to Ted as they worked the phones on the night shift of a crisis center, Ann never had a clue about his disturbing double-life.
What also makes The Stranger Beside Me so intriguing is that while Ted is rampaging through his murders, Ann’s career is growing as well.
EXCERPT FROM THE BOOK
Meanwhile Bundy was getting references for law school from his Republican buddies and was about to leave Washington for Utah.
These chapters are pivotal to the Bundy saga. Rule explains in exhausting detail, with names and dates, what was occurring in Washington at this time. From the task force to the witness statements, a clear picture of the killer and his victimology was beginning to emerge. In 1974, computers were not as accessible as they are now, so much of the comparison was done on hard copy and through manual labor.
This delayed results and enabled Bundy to act with impunity throughout the state, despite his name being sent to the authorities by Rule and even his girlfriend. By all appearances, Bundy was a smart law student with a bright future ahead of him. Even after he was apprehended, there was a kind of cult of Bundy that claimed his innocence. Even People Magazine raised doubts about his culpability and bought into the feeding frenzy that his trials became. These chapters begin to consolidate the evidence and reveal Rule’s interactions with police, and yet continue her willful blindness to the problem that was Bundy. Chapter-by-Chapter Summary and Commentary
Chapter 12 begins with a recap of the four “Teds” considered suspects worthy of investigation. Since there were artist renderings of the suspect from Lake Sammamish, several respected persons seemed to recognize Bundy as matching the drawing. This included his girlfriend “Meg Anders” (real name: Elizabeth Koepfler) who not only recognized the drawing, but knew of plaster of paris in her medicine cabinet and that her VW was used by her fiance Ted Bundy. She confided her fears to a friend and was encouraged to report Ted to the authorities. She was wracked with guilt over doing this and not letting Ted know.
While Meg was anguished over reporting her boyfriend (now a Utah law student) to the police, bodies were being found in the mountains throughout the late summer and early fall of 1974. Ted was settled in Utah, but traveled back to Seattle to finish some business and try to assure Meg of his affection, although not marriage. As he once told Ann Rule (much later after he was arrested):
“Why should I want to attack women? I had all the female companionship I wanted. I must have slept with half a dozen women that first year in Utah and all of them went to bed with me willingly...
...buy the book to continue reading!
Kleopatra VII., letzter weiblicher Pharao Ägyptens, ist heute hinter Mythen, übler Nachrede und märchenhafter Schönheit verborgen. Stacy Schiff , Pulitzer-Preisträgerin, zeigt in ihrer Biografie dank intensiver Recherche und neuer Auswertung antiker Quellen nicht nur die laszive Verführerin und das intrigante Machtweib, sondern enthüllt eine außerordentlich starke Herrscherin – selbstbewusst, versiert in politischem Kalkül, diplomatisch und visionär. Detailfülle und Mut zum zugespitzten historischen Urteil, sprachliche Eleganz und provokantspritzige Porträts der mächtigen Mit- und Gegenspieler an Kleopatras Seite versetzen den Leser ins alte Reich am Nil mit seinem weltläufigen Charme und seiner machtpolitischen Unerbittlichkeit.
Bogini. Najbardziej wpływowa i najbardziej pociągająca kobieta swoich czasów. Kochanka Juliusza Cezara i Marka Antoniusza. Żona - kolejno - swoich dwóch braci i morderczyni jednego z nich. Matka. Samobójczyni.
Życie Kleopatry VII, ostatniej królowej hellenistycznego Egiptu, obfitowało w wydarzenia, które na zawsze uczyniły ją inspiracją dla twórców. Dzięki temu pamięć o niej pozostała wiecznie żywa, ale też uległa zniekształceniu - prawdziwa Kleopatra zniknęła gdzieś pod warstwami farby, inkaustu, taśmy filmowej.
Stacy Schiff w swojej książce odczarowuje Kleopatrę, zdejmując z niej, warstwa po warstwie, ów szlachetny kulturowy osad, oddzielając fakty od fikcji. Buduje przy tym obraz antycznego świata, bo osadza swoją bohaterkę pośród ludzi z krwi i kości, na tle ówczesnych realiów. Przy okazji portretuje również jej dwóch sławnych kochanków, a wraz z nimi przybliża polityczną zawieruchę w ówczesnym imperium rzymskim.
Jednak to nie polityka i nie wodzowie są głównymi bohaterami, ale ona - kobieta, o której Blaise Pascal powiedział, że nawet kształtem nosa wpłynęła na kształt świata.
Stacy Schiff demitologizuje postać egipskiej królowej, która została szczelnie opleciona wyobrażeniami Szekspira, Shawa i Elisabeth Taylor.
„The New York Times"
Biografia ukazuje egipską władczynię zarówno jako sprytnego politycznego stratega, wykorzystującego swoje romanse do budowania wpływów, jak i najsławniejszą osobistość swoich czasów.
„Los Angeles Times"
Schiff, autorka nagrodzonej Pulitzerem biografii Véry Nabokov, z mitycznej postaci wydobywa prawdziwą Kleopatrę. Wiedza Schiff jest imponująca, ale została ubrana w lekkie słowa i przekazana z wielkim wyczuciem ludzkiej natury.
Schiff zabiera nas w czasy i miejsca, które można określić zarówno jako „orgie grabieży i mordu", jak i jako „Paryż antycznego świata". [...] Nakreślony przez Schiff portret ukazuje charyzmatyczną postać, płynnie mówiącą ośmioma językami, która przez dwadzieścia dwa lata rządziła przebogatym państwem-miastem. Jej panowanie zakończyła owiana legendą makabryczna śmierć...
Stacy Schiff napisała książkę, której brakowałoby nam, gdyby nie powstała.
„The Wall Street Journal"