Listen free for 30 days

£7.99/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime

Summary

Cleopatra’s palace shimmered with onyx and gold, but was richer still in political and sexual intrigue. Though her life spanned fewer then 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 and she poisoned the second. 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 Anthony, two of the most prominent Romans of the day. Both were married to other women. Cleopatra had a son with Caesar and - after his murder, three more with his protégé.

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 the supple personality has 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 a generation before the birth of Christ. Rich in detail, epic in scope, Schiff’s is a luminous, deeply original reconstruction of a dazzling life.

©2011 Stacy Schiff (P)2011 Random House Audio Go

What listeners say about Cleopatra

Average customer ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    30
  • 4 Stars
    9
  • 3 Stars
    5
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    1
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    21
  • 4 Stars
    7
  • 3 Stars
    2
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    22
  • 4 Stars
    4
  • 3 Stars
    3
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent for studying Cleo

I found this book incredibly helpful for learning about Cleopatra. Really easy to understand and well written.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

totally absorbing

Poetically written, fascinating content and the ideal narrator- found it hard to stop listening! And made me rethink aspects of Roman and Egyptian history as well as the historical perspective of Cleopatra.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Superlative

This is as absorbing and enjoyable a history book as you will ever read or listen to. The author rises to the subject with sympathy and brings the immensity of her life and times with great accomplishment. Cleopatra has through history set the minds of so many great artists aflame. I finished this book feeling dazzled not just by Cleopatra but by the brilliance of Schiff's recreation and analysis of her

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Fantastic!

How great to hear the facts (and where facts are missing a discussion) of cleopatra’s life. The intertwining with Rome was especially good. Histories of Rome make her a footnote. Shame her achievements have been downplayed for thousands of years and her failure used to bar women from holding power for the same period.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

poor editing

really enjoyed the story of one of the most powerful women in history and learnt so much. shame the editor fell asleep towards the end. there's a section where the narrator makes a mistake and appoligies, starts the sentence again and it made the final cut.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Poor effort

Really didn't enjoy this, sad, as I've always been interested in Egyptian history and this did'nt much spark my continued interest in the subject. I wasn't really sure what the author was trying to achieve.

2 people found this helpful

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Yas
  • Yas
  • 21-08-20

Did much more than expected

Stacy Schiff had set out to improve the records on Cleopatra & did exactly that. Sadly, she showed the multiple negative tags weren't quite erroneous & chauvinistic in their demeaning labels but simply spectacular. Cleopatra's all round brilliance is noteworthy, yet her legacy remains that of the Whore Queen of Egypt. Now we also have Stacy Schiff's work as further prove of that fact. Great Piece, all round.