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Domina (Paul Doherty Historical Mysteries) Paperback – 2 Dec 2002

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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Headline; New Ed edition (2 Dec. 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0747264686
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747264682
  • Product Dimensions: 10.7 x 2.2 x 17.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 982,103 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Dr. Paul Doherty was born in Middlesbrough (North-East England) in 1946. After A-levels, he went to Ushaw College in Durham for three years to study for the Catholic priesthood. In 1967, he was admitted to Liverpool University where he gained a First Class Honours Degree in History and won a state scholarship to Exeter College, Oxford. While there he met his wife Carla Lynn Corbitt. He continued his studies but decided that the academic world was not for him and became a secondary school teacher.

Paul worked in Ascot, Newark and Crawley, before being appointed as Headmaster to Trinity Catholic School, Woodford Green, Essex, in September 1981. Trinity is a large comprehensive (1700 on roll) which teaches the full ability range, ages 11-18. The school has been described as one of the leading comprehensives in the U.K. and has been awarded "Outstanding" in four consecutive OFSTED inspections. All seven of Paul and Carla's children have been educated at Trinity.

Paul's other incarnation is as a novelist. He finished his doctorate on the reign of Edward II of England and decided to start writing about the "undergrowth of history", beginning with THE DEATH OF A KING, published in 1985. Since then, Paul has written nearly 100 books and has published a series of outstanding historical mysteries set in the Middle Ages, Classical Greece, Ancient Egypt and elsewhere. His books have been translated into more than twenty languages and are available in several formats, including large print, audio books, and more recently e-books.

He has been published under several pseudonyms: C. L. Grace, Paul Harding, Michael Clynes, Ann Dukthas and Anna Apostolou but now writes only under his own name. Paul has also written a number of non-fiction titles, among them: ISABELLA AND THE STRANGE DEATH OF EDWARD II, a scholarly study of The Great Crown Jewels Robbery of 1303, THE SECRET LIFE OF ELIZABETH I, and a study of the mystery surrounding the death of Alexander the Great.
Paul lectures for a number of organisations, particularly on historical mysteries, many of which later feature in his writings. A born speaker and trained lecturer Paul loves to tell stories and "bring history to life."

Product Description


Parmenon, a one-eyed former gladiator, tells the story of the beautiful Agrippina, the wife of Claudius and mother of Nero, and of her battle to survive in and control the depraved and violent imperial Roman court.

Book Description

A dramatic historical novel about the turbulent life and death of Agrippina, Empress of Rome

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By Keen Reader TOP 50 REVIEWER on 15 Mar. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've read a lot of Paul Doherty (or P C Doherty) over the years; all great historical novels, set in different times and places - from Medieval Europe to Ancient Eygpt.

This is the first in a series of novels set in Imperial Rome - this book tells the tale of Agrippina the Younger - great-granddaughter of Augustus, great-niece and adoptive granddaughter of Tiberius, sister to Caligula, niece and wife of Claudius, and mother of Nero. Quite a lineage in there - and to be honest, to survive in those times, with those family connections, you'd have to be a tough cookie. And from all accounts Agrippina the Younger was just that. Without giving too much away in the story, the novel tells of how Agrippina's love for her son Nero, overcoming her lifetime of scheming and power, leads to her ultimate downfall. The story is told from the perspective of her secretarius Parmenon, who has been with her for many years, and tells her story with empathy and compassion, as well as understanding.

This story is thrilling stuff - it's hard to believe the lives that these people led; power was the ultimate goal, madness the ultimate emotion. Agrippina's story is told here with an insight that must have been hard to achieve with so many very unlikeable characters; a really entertaining novel, and the start to what I hope will be another enjoyable series from Mr Doherty.
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29 of 35 people found the following review helpful By P. Ilias on 16 April 2002
Format: Paperback
For a devoted fan of Paul Doherty his latest book Domina was a terrible disappointment. Research appears to have been limited to the gossip of Suetonius' "Life of the Caesars". A propaganda pamphlet commissioned by the Flavians to make them look good when compared to their predecessors. All the mostly untrue stories are here. Tiberius the ghastly recluse in Capri, Claudius the cretin and of course Nero the monster. No Roman emperor would ever say "I am the Emperor of Rome". Their title since Augustus was Princeps. The military title imperator was assumed to indicate command of the army. No wife of any emperor would ever call herself empress, the feminine form of Caesar/Augustus/Imperator did not exist. The meeting room of the Senate was not an amphitheater, it looked remarkably like the present House of Commons with the presiding consuls on a dais just like the present day Speaker. Just go and look at the Comitium in the Roman Forum, it still stands there. The senators wore a white toga with broad red stripes. Any Roman citizen was entitled to wear a white toga. One of Nero's cronies wears a purple, gold edged toga in the book. Now really !
Paul Doherty would have greatly benefited from reading Allan Massie's "Tiberius" or the classic
"I Claudius" and "Claudius the God". Stephen Saylor and Lindsay Davis manage a far better picture of ancient Rome.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The precursor of the ancient roman mysteries. If you like accessable historical novels you will like this. The story moves along at a good pace with lots of historical detail. The times were very turbulent with many gruesome events as Rome was ruled by increasingly mad men. Brings history to life. I really enjoyed this stand alone book.
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By debbie evans on 13 Mar. 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 8 reviews
46 of 46 people found the following review helpful
Paul Doherty at his best 22 Jan. 2005
By Robin Dalziell - Published on
Format: Paperback
Having read a number of Doherty's historical/mystery novels, I came to read 'Domina'with thoughts that it would be of similar ilk to the others - entertaining. I like Doherty's style.

Domina is entertaining - and much more. With this novel there is more a sense of history and its drama. The author brings to life an Agrippina The Younger who is every bit the scheming and manipulative woman we've read about, but also a more 'earthier' person - believable. She is a survivor! Daughter of the hero Germanicus and Agrippina The Elder - an overbearing mother of the first order! Sister of Caligula. Wife to the emperor Claudius ( her uncle and well known lecher)and then mother to Nero. How's that for a disfunctional family!

In Doherty's tale I felt some sympathy for Agrippina, despite her own devious behaviour. This was encouraged by the story being told by her confidant and life-long admirer - Parmenion. Historical fact abounds here entwined with gripping drama vividly told.

His best historical novel yet!
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
First in the Roman Series 20 Nov. 2006
By J. Chippindale - Published on
Format: Paperback
Paul Doherty is the consummate professional when it comes to writing historical novels. I for one do not know how he can be so prolific with his offering of books and yet make sure that each of them is well researched. Whether they be 13th, 14th, or fifteenth century they are always true to the period. He also writes about Ancient Egypt and Alexander the Great. Paul Doherty has the rare talent of making you feel as though you are there, be it medieval England, or battling with Alexander. The sounds and smells of the period seem to waft from the pages of his books. He has now turned his attention to Ancient Rome and this is the first book in the series.

Agrippina was the wife of Claudius and the mother of perhaps the most hated Emperor Rome had ever had (or so the history books would have us believe). She was a stunningly beautiful woman, but talented too. She led a privileged but traumatic life. She saw her own father murdered. She was then banished by her brother and was killed on the orders of a son, when the balance of his mind was undoubtedly in question.

This is her story, told by her freed man, Parmenon, a one-eyed former gladiator. He tells of Agrippina's constant battle to survive in the depraved and violent Imperial Roman court and also her attempts to stem the crumbling relationship between herself and her son.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
An easy way to learn 3 Dec. 2008
By M. Cotone - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is easily the best fictional account of the first Roman imperial dynasty, the Julio-Claudians, since Robert Graves' "I Claudius." The history is accurate, as are the elements of ancient Roman society and culture which become part of the story, and the characters are an intriguing blend of what is known about them and Doherty's speculations. The man is extraordinarily knowledgeable and comfortable with the various periods and cultures in which he sets his stories and is a story-teller who never fails to keep his reader's interest and curiosity.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
I, Claudius Lite: nice story, mediocre style 15 Oct. 2014
By Laurence R. Bachmann - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Paul Doherty's Domina, the story of Agrippina the Younger is a very mixed bag and something of a paradox. The author is excellent at the hard part--constructing a plausible Roman blue blood that seems authentic 20 centuries after she lived. Doherty explains to the manor born comes with a few unique drawback every Julio-Claudian understands: it's kill or be killed as one is either a contender for the imperial throne, or an impediment to somebody else achieving that goal.

In these treacherous shoals, Agrippina the Younger doesn't just survive, but thrive. She helps push uncle Tiberius out of the way; survives her mad brother Caligula, marries uncle Claudius and disposes of him and his son Britainicus in swift order. All on behalf of her beloved son Nero, whom she is determined will hold the reins of power (guided of course by his devoted mummy). It's a breathtaking achievement if only partially true (who knew Nero would be such an ungrateful little pisher?), and Doherty's narrative seems quite plausible.

So why not a higher rating? Frankly the writing is always mediocre and occasionally hackneyed. This is the first book I've read by him author but can hardly credit Doherty has a half dozen or more under his belt. Other reviews have said the lousy writing is atypical but if I read another by this author I am taking it out of the library. If you decide to read Domina, you should do the same.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
fun and informative 24 Oct. 2008
By John David - Published on
Format: Paperback
The prose here is simple and easy to follow which helps as there are many characters in and out of it. I am personally intrigued by historical fiction whereby I am entertained while learning various cultures. Doherty does a fine job of accurately putting us in the middle of ancient Rome, right down to the aromas in the air. All is covered including architecture and interior design, clothing, speech, flora and fauna, and of course the caste system and wretched deceipt of the royals. The latter deadly and scandalous nature of which allows us to become voyeurs, gladly from a safe distance in time. The fun ends all too soon, but Doherty has other books of the same entertaining and informative nature.
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