This was a gift to my granddaughter who loved it I bought this book as an introduction to Cleopatra after watching the Rome mini series I wanted to get an idea if the story was accurate This book provides a great introduction but left me with the impression that her life is shrouded in mystery The author often went off on tangents to fill in a complex background that most readers including myself are not familiar with These tangents include Egyptian geneology the layout of cities and the history of Egypt These deviations were generally interesting but I often found myself wondering how this all fit back into Cleopatra s life and why they were includedI found the sections of the book where the author explained the myths surrounding Cleopatra and broke down the possible origins and debunked them the most interesting I felt these left the best impression of what her life must have been like and the complex world she maneuvered in I appreciate the book for telling us we actually really in reality know nothing about Cleopatra VII This is a very readable book about one of the most intriguing figures in world history Joyce Tyldesley s biography of the last ueen of the Ptolemy dynasty covers all of the key points the affair with Ceasar the civil war in Egypt and the final fatal attraction with Marc Antony Anyone reading this book is going to finish it with a good grasp of the basic outlines of Cleopatra s life and the dying days of the Ptolemy dynastyUnfortunately Ms Tyldesley has decided to write a book that is replete with digressions She flies through Cleopatra s early life but then takes two chapters discussing the layout of Alexandria and how Cleopatra actually looked between the birth of Ceasarian and the death of Caesar There was a poin. She was the last ruler of the Macedonian dynasty of Ptolemies who had ruled Egypt for three centuries Highly educated she was the only one of the Ptolemies to read and speak ancient Egyptian as well.
T where I despaired of finishing the discussion of diadems and triple uraei and getting back to the compelling story of the ultimate Roman conuest of EgyptThis book is complimentary towards Cleopatra but is not a hagiography Ms Tyldesley clearly is sympathetic towards her subject but is clear that Cleopatra was first and foremost an ambitious leader in a cruel age Her affairs with Caesar and Antony are presented as events that served mutual political agendas and not as they so often appear in cinema as the product of lust Since there is no way to ever know the true nature of the relationships Ms Tyldesley s theory is as valid as any other but those looking for the romance of the age will be disappointedThe flaws of the book are at the end of the day relatively minor The strengths Ms Tyldesley s prose her setting of the entire episode into the proper historical context and her willingness to look beyond the sordid Elizabeth Taylor version of history are significant This is likely not a book for academics or romantics but if the general reader can work through the digressions they will find a book worth reading Wonderful insight into Cleopatra s challenges in ruling Egypt Ms Tyldesley puts everything in chronological and easy to understand order with how the family relations and current foreign policies affected Cleopatra s decisions to control her kingdom Very well written and brings to life the real Cleopatra and her struggle to keep Egypt free of Roman rule it would interest anyone who likes ancient excellent read thanks Joyce Tyldesley s work on women in ancient Egypt is well worth attention of armchair historians In Cleopatra Tyldesley provides a first rate biography placing the Ptolemiac ruler in a Egyptian context rather than the. As the court Greek and very clever her famous liaisons with Julius Caesar and Mark Antony were as much to do with politics as the heart she steered her kingdom through impossibly taxing internal prob.
Roman one many of us are familiar with while also giving insight into her turbulent time and analysis of they way in which and why she is rememberedThat so little is known about her family Ptolemy XIV and XV and her sisters is one of several points Tyldesley asks readers to consider had fortune and events gone another way Cleopatra would be relegated to the margins of history As it stands the Roman annexation of Egypt has done much to further obscure and complicate the historical record of this remarkable woman Tyldesley narration separates fact from Roman and later fiction and is clear and specific in explaining her own conclusions where the historical record is spottyThat Cleopatra is than the manipulative harlot of Roman imaginings and Hollywood drama is hardly surprising That she was astute ruthless and Machiavellian given her position and the nature of palace intrigue under the Ptolemies is expected That she was as much victor as victim was unanticipated A solid read of a fascinating person Met my reuirements well documented and written by an expert I would recommend it to others who have a real interest in historical facts Three stars are poor Joyce is very well respected and I did like her commentary on the BBC documentary however I was hoping for a little exciting book I found it really boring and hard to read lots of dates lots of names that are the sametens of Cleopatras mentioned at the same time you can t feel but lost somehow Also the book doesn t follow a timeline One minute Cleopatra is allegedly shagging JC then minute after she is married to her brother Then back to Mark Anthony then she is 10 years old I ll watch the documentary again and maybe revisit Carry On Cleo Excellent book have used it as reference for my cours. Lems and railed against greedy Roman imperialism Stripping away preconceptions as old as her Roman enemies Joyce Tyldesley uses all her skills as an Egyptologist to give us this magnificent biography.