Alexandria: The Last Nights of Cleopatra and over 2 million other books are available for Amazon Kindle . Learn more
£7.99
  • RRP: £9.99
  • You Save: £2.00 (20%)
FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10.
Only 1 left in stock (more on the way).
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon.
Gift-wrap available.
Quantity:1
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Alexandria: The Last Nights of Cleopatra Paperback – 2 Jan 2014


See all 4 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
£7.99
£3.00 £0.01

Frequently Bought Together

Alexandria: The Last Nights of Cleopatra + The Woman Upstairs
Price For Both: £14.38

Buy the selected items together


Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Granta Books (2 Jan 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847087043
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847087041
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.5 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 603,051 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Touching and funny in the finest tradition of English letters --The Times

Subtle and mournful --Spectator

Alexandria exerts a powerful attraction. It is as good an evocation of one of the world's most absorbing cities as one could imagine. It is the depth and quality of Stothard's insights into himself that will make me go back to this book again and again. --John Simpson, Mail on Sunday

His discursive story of brooding on Cleopatra is fascinating, a book full of surprises, humour, information and reflections; it's a walk through the rich estate that is Peter Stothard's mind. --Allan Massie, Literary Review

Peter Stothard has brought back from his quixotic North African jaunt the materials of a very fine book indeed. --New Statesman

If I have any quibble with the book, it is based on wanting to spend more time with Stothard. The book is full of such won wisdom; and although not ostensibly there to report on the first stirrings of political change in Egypt, his glancing observations tell us more about a paranoid, fractious state than countless more column inches... and all of that shot through with a supremely humane intelligence. --Scotsman

Stothard marshals his material superbly to create an absorbing mix of history, biography and memoir --Sunday Times

Wonderful, surprising, it is with great skill that the various elements are knotted together to produce a very eerie sense of moving back and forth through place and time. ... This is an uplifting book - a constant reminder that life is far more richly layered and mysterious than we realise --Daily Mail

A subtle, haunting and complex book ... Stothard too, like Cavafy, takes his place in the venerable tradition of Alexandrian elegy. What he has composed, in the final reckoning, is a threnody for himself. --Guardian

Alexandria is a thoroughly engrossing read. With much subtlety, it proves what a classicist knows in his marrow. In snatching at a distant past, one cannot help but clarify the distance in between. In following the thread to Cleopatra, Stothard has found himself. --Standpoint magazine

His own story has a great plot, which emerges unobtrusively. At moments it's Jonathan Coe's The Rotters Club and The Closed Circle... Some episode are in the same comic league, too... In his reflections on the pasts whose details are smudged by loss, Stothard enduringly evokes the fragility of life and memory. --Telegraph

Alexandria is a thoroughly engrossing read. With much subtlety, it proves what a classicist knows in his marrow. In snatching at a distant past, one cannot help but clarify the distance in between. In following the thread to Cleopatra, Stothard has found himself. --Standpoint magazine

Like the tales it has to tell, this book's genre slips attractively in and out of focus: by turns, a scholarly quest; an offbeat travelogue; a postwar meritocrat's apologia. In the end, protean Cleopatra and her city will escape his grasp, but the story of their flight proves consistently bewitching and (in its more elegiac aspects) very moving too. --Boyd Tonkin, Independent

Alexandria is a thoroughly engrossing read. With much subtlety, it proves what a classicist knows in his marrow. In snatching at a distant past, one cannot help but clarify the distance in between. In following the thread to Cleopatra, Stothard has found himself. --Standpoint magazine

Stothard marshals his material superbly to create an absorbing mix of history, biography and memoir. --The Sunday Times

It's a love letter to England and a rumination on the nature of history and politics. --The Times

'A rich account of Stothard's visit to Egypt and how the Arab spring complicated his plans to complete a Cleopatra biography' --Observer

'F --Mail on Sunday

'Outstanding... this is expertly crafted writing of the highest calibre' ***** --The Lady

'In late 2010 Stothard travelled to Cleopatra's home city of Alexandria. His visit coincided with the Arab Spring, and his elegant book is a combination of memoir, biography and reportage' --Mail on Sunday

About the Author

PETER STOTHARD is the Editor of the TLS and the author of two books of diaries, Thirty Days (2003) and On the Spartacus Road (2010). He is a classicist who has spent most of his life as a political and literary journalist. From 1992 to 2002 he was the Editor of The Times. In 2012 he was chairman of the judges for the Man Booker Prize. He was knighted in 2003.

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By D. P. Mankin TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 20 Jun 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Its difficult to classify this book. Its part memoir, part travelogue, part history. The author, Peter Stothard has a wonderful prose style that reflects his journalistic background. Its a book that is almost soothing, if that makes sense. You slip into his easy storytelling and drift along the journey he describes. At times probing, at others reflective, this is very much someone using his fascination with a historical figure, Cleopatra (the Cleopatra of Julius Caesar and Mark Antony fame) to open a door onto his life, to reconnect with his younger life. Nearly the same age I found myself empathising with his, at times, wistful reflections. How quickly the decades pass. Highly recommended.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By C. Nicholls on 28 Aug 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I heard the first chapter read by Peter Stothard on BBC Radio 4 and thought it full of mystery and interest. Unfortunately it dwindled. However, in it's favour are wonderully rich descriptions of Alexandria and a bit of potted history of the Cleopatra story intersperced. I didn't think it stacked up well against that wonderfully overblown Alexandria Quartet. The fiction wins out.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Format: Paperback
On page 67 of Alexandria: The Last Nights of Cleopatra, Peter Stothard acknowledges what the reader knew some 60 pages earlier. ‘This is becoming a book about me. That is not what I intended.’

Based on the cover, one might assume this to be a conventional history of Cleopatra; born 69 or 70 BC, the last pharaoh of Egypt, the woman who murdered and seduced to advance her political ambitions. Theatrical motifs from her life are scored into our collective unconscious. It is said that at 21 years old, she was smuggled past Ptolemy’s guards in a carpet and unveiled to Julius Caesar, then over 50, and became his mistress. She dissolved a pearl in a cup of wine and drank it to vex her other famous lover, Mark Antony, in a bet over who could feast the most extravagantly. And her grand finale, a spectacular suicide involving (if Shakespeare and the Victorian painters are to be believed) a basket of figs and an asp. There have been countless depictions of her story rendered in art and print, and yet since the age of nine, Stothard has wanted to make his own version.

This book is partly about Cleopatra and partly about the author watching himself trying to write about her. For this is Cleopatra the eighth, as in, ‘precisely the eighth time’ Stothard has attempted this biography. ‘I never intended to write so much here about my own life,’ he reiterates later in the book, getting a twinge of writers’ doubt over past promises unfulfilled:

‘But I do select every memory by how much it connects to those promises. It seems random. But there is a reason, a pattern and, in the end maybe, a picture too.’

Yes. I can confirm there is a lucid and rewarding whole.

This is a history book because I now know more about Cleopatra’s life and times than I did before.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
By Bing on 1 Mar 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Enticed by one review in particular, I found that for once the critic was absolutely right. This book has an elegance in the writing as it encompasses a variety of decades yet retains its core purpose, to pursue a book about Cleopatra which has been years in the writing. Along the way we engage with a variety of disparate souls. Deeply satisfying.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again


Feedback