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The Memoirs of Cleopatra Paperback – 10 May 2012

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Product details

  • Paperback: 1152 pages
  • Publisher: Pan; Reprints edition (10 May 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330353829
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330353823
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 5.3 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 116,176 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

Fans of the author who loved her biographies of Henry VIII and Mary Queen of Scots will find this story of Egypt's ancient queen equally engrossing. The author's impeccable research brings a long ago civilization thoroughly to life, and her portraits of Cleopatra, Ceasar and Antony are wonderful. A spellbinding book." --Barbara Taylor Bradford "A thrilling story...[Cleopatra's] 'memoirs' are vivid and enthralling. Read them."" --Washington Post" "A 976 page time machine...It's as if you lived there, walked the streets and counseled the Queen throughout her turbulent life." "--Cincinatti Enquirer" "Awash in sensuous, jewl-like detail... As if ancient frescoes had sprung alive." --Entertainment Weekly "George is such a skilled writer the book seems built no the intimate details of the five senses" --"Memphis Commercial Appeal" "Readers looking to be transported to another place and time will find their magic carpet here." --"Publishers Weekly"

Book Description

An enthralling tale of passion, ambition and betrayal

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By mckarkiel2powell@aol.com on 11 Mar. 2001
Format: Paperback
I have read several books consisting of over 1,000 pages like A Suitable Boy, Quincunx & The Lord of the Rings but this book has to be ranked as one of the best. I picked this book for: its price, its title - having been to Egypt in 1995 little was mentioned about Queen Cleopatra & I thought it would give me some insight. This is a well researched novel & every spare moment I had was spent reading it. The chief protagonists Cleopatra, Caesar, Marc Anthony & Octavian come alive. Will Caesar survive? Will Anthony & Cleopatra rule a vast kingdom or will it be Octavian? These are questions that keep on croping up. You have this image that all your questions will be answered (& they are) but the questions that you seek are not the ones you were after. When you finally finish the book, and you will & you'll be after more, you somehow feel that George has left things unanswered but at the very end with the authors note she answers these questions. One of the key questions that I wanted answered was, What was her colouring? Was she as beautiful as so many thought? I always thought that Cleopatra was black. As for her beauty, she had no rival!!! Although George answers these & other questions saying that, 'The Ptolemies were Macedonian Greeks' & 'Skin tone too, can vary from quite light to Mediterranean "Olive -Skinned" it's left up to the reader how they want to interpret her skin colour & her beauty. George also says that contrary to popular belief there is quite a lot known about Cleopatra but it's a pity that there are not any statues (are there any?) of this Queen, Goddess, Scholar, Warrior that in some way can give us further insight into one of the greatest & richest rulers this world has ever known. I relish the next novel that she has published.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By jose gutierrez rodriguez on 1 Aug. 2003
Format: Paperback
This book is absolutely brilliant!!!! I've read it over 3 or 4 times and I never get bored. It is amazing how Margaret can discribe all of Cleopatra's emotions on each moment of her life. Just for you to imagine how good the book is I spent 3 or 4 whole afternoons reading it and I even walked reading it! You don't just read this book, you really live it. Believe or not I really cried when Caesar and Anthony died and when she commited suicide. If you are interested on Egypt and Cleopatra or just on the time she lived in, YOU SHOULD BUY THIS BOOK.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By IP TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 31 July 2015
Format: Paperback
The perfect companion for all historical fiction enthusiasts is THE ROMA VICTRIX WINE BEAKERCalix Imperium, Roma Victrix Pewter wine beaker

Written in much the same style as her Autobiography of Henry VIII, The Memoirs of Cleopatra is a biographical novel told in first person narrative format. Like Margaret George's other similar works, it's huge - 964 pages in the library's trade paperback format.

This book also uses a similar device to that of Henry VIII - another narrator, her personal physician Olympos (a real person, although his name is usually spelled Olympus), writes an "eleventh scroll" to follow Cleopatra VII's ten "scrolls" (a device for dividing the book into sections), that tells of her death and what happened afterwards.

The illustration on the cover is from a portion of an 1887 painting of Cleopatra depicting her the way most of us picture her, especially from the movie starring Elizabeth Taylor. The novel, like the nonfiction Cleopatra: A Life by Stacy Schiff, presents the Egyptian queen as a highly intelligent woman and powerful leader. Much of its length comes from details about the beautiful city of Alexandria in Egypt, its famous library and lighthouse, temples throughout Egypt, and life in that time and place, as well as similar details for Rome.

There's a map at the beginning of the book which is extremely useful, as all the countries referred to in the novel either no longer exist today or have different names and boundaries. George has an author's note at the end that tells who is and isn't real, what's factual, and enumerates many of her sources.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By finalguy on 1 Jan. 2013
Format: Paperback
WOW, this book truly feels like an accomplishment to complete. My edition totalled 1137 pages, which probably makes it the largest book I have ever read. I'm also sad that it's actually over too, as it was a surprisingly engrossing read.

I think my enjoyment of this novel was helped out by the fact that I knew very little of Cleopatra's life before reading, I knew of the basics of course. Her affairs with Caesar and Anthony, and her chosen form of death, but other than that I was completely ignorant. The writer does extremely well in creating ancient Egypt, in fact at times, it felt like if I was to magically appear there, that I would easily be able to find my way around. The descriptions were beautiful, the Nile, the Temples, everything was grand and well described.

If I have any criticisms, it is that certain points do become slightly repetitive. Cleopatra finds herself telling Anthony and Ceaser that she loves them many times, and from the Author's notes it's clear that those relationships have become a lot more romanticised, and the last two hundred pages are an agonising wait to the conclusion (but considering this is historically accurate that can't be helped)...but, overall it truly is a wonderful novel, I don't especially see myself reading it a second time but I can't recommend it enough.

I also have George's 'Helen of Troy' novel, so that will be in the to-read pile, although I think a break from historical fiction is due for a while.
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