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Antony and Cleopatra [Paperback]

Colleen McCullough
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

17 Sep 2007

From the bestselling author of ‘The Thorn Birds’ comes a novel of a legendary love triangle between the three leaders of Rome: Cleopatra, Mark Antony and Octavian. Passion, politics, love and death combine in a novel which will change the way you think about ancient history.

Mark Antony, famous warrior and legendary lover, expected that he would be Julius Caesar's successor. But after Caesar's murder it was his 18-year old nephew, Octavian, who was named in the will. No-one, least of all Antony, expected him to last but his youth and slight frame concealed a remarkable determination and a clear strategic sense.

Antony was the leader of the fabulously rich East. Barely into his campaigning, he met Cleopatra, Pharaoh of Egypt. Bereft by the loss of Julius Caesar, her lover, father of her only son, she saw Antony as another Roman who could support her and provide more heirs. His fascination for her, his sense that she knew the way forward where he had lost his, led to the beginning of their passionate, and very public affair. The two men, twin rulers of Rome, might have found a way to live with each other but not with Cleopatra between them.

This is a truly epic story of power and scandal, battle and passion, political spin and inexorable fate with a rich historical background and a remarkable cast of characters, all brought brilliantly to life by Colleen McCullough. It is hard to leave the world she has created.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins (17 Sep 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007262841
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007262847
  • Product Dimensions: 23 x 15.2 x 4.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 667,637 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description


Praise for ‘Antony and Cleopatra’:

‘An irresistible read’
Daily Mail

‘Full of passion, greed, intrigue and betrayal…a thoroughly entertaining read’
Glasgow Herald

Praise for Colleen McCullough:

‘Fast-moving and immensely readable…this book is a page turner from start to finish’ Maeve Binchy

'McCullough piles on the drama' Daily Mail

'Sizzling family drama stuffed with passion, tragedy, love and sex' More

'Absorbing’ Sunday Telegraph

'Compelling, passionate and gritty' She

'Probes the depths of the human heart in a haunting, multi-layered novel' Good Book Guide

'Deliciously addictive…a classic tale of wealth and power–an engrossing read' Sainsbury's magazine

About the Author

Colleen McCullough, a neuroscientist by training, worked in various Sydney and English hospitals before settling into 10 years of research and teaching in the Department of Neurology at the Yale Medical School in the USA. In 1974 her first novel, ‘Tim’ was published in New York, followed by ‘The Thorn Birds’ in 1977 and a string of successful novels, including the Masters of Rome series. She lives in Norfolk Island, with her husband, Ric Robinson, and a cat named Shady.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Captures the very essence of ancient Rome 8 Dec 2007
Historical fiction always has the seeming disadvantage that the reader already knows the story, at least in broad strokes, and worse still, knows the outcome. This is no handicap whatsoever to Colleen McCullough. She has fashioned the historical figures into thoroughly vibrant and believable characters. Though the story is narrated in the third person, the reader is regularly treated to short passages in the first person that allow insights into the characters and their motivations. These insights sweep us into the lives of these famous figures. We are horrified along with Antony's generals at the machinations of Cleopatra, yet at the same time we empathize with his feelings for her. We are shattered along with Cleopatra at the realizations and the decisions she is forced to make towards the end. We share Octavian's hopes and dreams and, though horrified by some of his acts, we understand their roots. The glimpses inside the minds of these people of the ancient world allow us more than just an understanding of their character. Woven through their thoughts, words and deeds is masterful portrayal of ancient Rome herself and the ideas and concepts that sustained one of the world's greatest empires. McCullough builds such a tangible depiction of ideas like dignitas, auctoritas and mos maiorum, that we understand them without the need of the handy glossary she has provided. The novel is a masterpiece.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love and Betrayal 4 Oct 2007
By J. Chippindale TOP 500 REVIEWER
Colleen McCullough was born in Australia. A neurophysicist, she established the department of neurophysiology at the Royal North Shore Hospital in Sydney She then worked as a researcher and teacher at Yale Medical School for ten years. She is the author of the record-breaking international bestseller The Thorn Birds and her series of books on Rome have also been bestsellers. Colleen lives on Norfolk Island in the Pacific with her husband.

Colleen McCullough has been one of my favourite authors, every since I read the book The First Man in Rome and then eagerly awaited the next in the series and then the next and so on. The book The October Horse was the story of Caesar and Cleopatra and now Antony and Cleopatra is a natural continuation of the Roman books. Although the story has been told many many times before and in many forms. Colleen McCullough does it in her own inimitable style, making the reader almost feel that they are beside the banks of the Nile.

Mourning the loss of her lover Caesar, the father of her only son, Cleopatra sees Mark Antony as another high ranking Roman who can support and protect her and provide more heirs. Mark Antony is bewildered. He assumed and expected to be Julius Caesar's heir, but after Caesar's murder it was his nephew Octavian who was named in the will. In many people's eyes Mark Antony was a womanizing, hard drinking brute, but he was a complex and intelligent character who was astute enough to see the benefits of his liaison with Cleopatra. Fighting, politics passion. It is all there.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars mcculloch scores again 25 Jun 2010
this is her concluding book 7 in the "masters of rome" "Trilogy"!?- from start to finish it is a masterpiece of beautifully written prose- it is so easy to get right inside the minds of the characters. I hope she can be persuaded to write book 8 with "Augustus" as the main character.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Carrying on Masters of Rome 23 Aug 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I read the original series but missed this one, which came out later. Like the others, it gives a plausible account of what these people may have been doing.

And corrects the notion that Antony was a great general, or that Cleopatra was beautiful.
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10 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best yet! 10 Nov 2007
Colleen Mccullough marches on through the history of Rome with pen in hand like a Ceaser in her own right. With this latest masterpiece she brings us almost completely through the first century BC. This book is the best yet.

If you havn't read any of Colleen's Roman novels start with the First Man in Rome and enjoy an unparalleled ride with her through the fascinating years of Early Western History. If you love reading and history you won't regret the journey for a single minute.
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