- Paperback: 400 pages
- Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd; New impression edition (1 Sept. 1969)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0140003185
- ISBN-13: 978-0140003185
- Product Dimensions: 13 x 1.8 x 20.1 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (109 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 840,081 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
I, Claudius Paperback – 1 Sep 1969
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Audio Download, Unabridged
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I, CLAUDIUS and CLAUDIUS THE GOD are an imaginative and hugely readable account of the early decades of the Roman Empire ... racy, inventive, often comic (Daily Telegraph)
One of the really remarkable books of our day, a novel of learning and imagination, fortunately conceived and brilliantly executed (New York Times)
Still an acknowledged masterpiece and a model for historical fiction ... sympathetic and intensely involving: a great feat of imagination (Hilary Mantel) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
First published in 1934, and written in the form of Claudius' autobiography, the audio is read by Derek Jacobi. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product description
Top Customer Reviews
In what was a very turbulent period in Roman history with regards to its leadership, Claudius was an ideal person to use, as he lived through some major events, and due to his infirmities managed to avoid assassination unlike a lot of his relatives. After all an Emperor doesn't want family and others around him who could usurp him with legitimate claims to the throne.
In this book Claudius takes us back to before he was born so that we get a feel for the age, and then after his birth he shows what was going on with all the political and family machinations. By using modern place names this makes it an easy read for those who aren't as well versed on the history of the period as others, and whether you are quite well informed on the era or not this makes for some great reading. Although there is a lot of plotting and killing here this is also full of comedy and is a joy to read. We are taken up to the assassination of Caligula and Claudius being announced Emperor, with what happened next coming in the second volume `Claudius the God'.Read more ›
As well as a good story, the book is also a reflection on what history actually is – a record of past events, a story built out of past events, and the use of the past to bolster the narrow interests of the present. It’s also a book about politics, with much to tell us about our own times. One of the characteristics of the benign period under Augustus, for example, is “freedom of the press” – a reluctance to punish writers or comedians who make the emperor the butt of their criticism or jokes. Modern Europe could take note.
Above all, I loved the ending. Claudius was primarily a writer, and if you were a writer who finds himself becoming emperor what would go through your mind? Robert Graves, another writer, realises you would be thinking, “ah well, at least I can get people to read my books now.” I would be thinking the same.
If I wanted to read these again now I'd look out a couple of used paperbacks and save £13 - rather than buy the kindle versions at nearly £8 for the second one - Amazon having hooked you into the "franchise" with a price of £4.99 for I, Claudius.
But - price apart - these books are quality writing and worth a few hours of anyone's attention.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The latest in my reading group’s season of between the wars writers. In this first part of Claudius’s fictional autobiography, he chronicles murder, madness and debauchery under... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Bobbie
Great book but a shame that this version is a mini hardback as I bought it for my father and so had assumed that the print would be larger.Published 8 months ago by Ms. F.
I've read this many times over the years, it's one of my favourites - a work of fiction, presented as an extremely convincing autobiography of the Roman emperor Claudius. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Zarina
Bringing ancient Rome to life, with believable motives and characters in this fascinating period of history this is a book that can change your life. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Judi123
It took quite a while to plough my way through this. I still have the image of Derek Jacobi play the title role many years ago.Published 11 months ago by Sue