Cleopatra the Great: The Woman Behind the Legend

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Harper Collins, May 17, 2011 - Biography & Autobiography - 464 pages
22 Reviews

World-Renowned Egyptologist Dr. Joann Fletcher offers an unparalleled look at one of history’s most fascinating leaders—Politician, Mother, and Goddess—the legendary Cleopatra.

The subject of myth for more than two millennia, Cleopatra was a woman of passion, magnetism, and political genius, the last and greatest Egyptian pharaoh. In this mesmerizing biography, Egyptologist Joann Fletcher draws on a wealth of newly discovered information and research to reveal this vital woman as she truly was, from her first meeting with Julius Caesar to her legendary death by snakebite.

Cleopatra the Great tells the story of a turbulent time and the extraordinary woman at its center. A polymath monarch, she was also a potent combination of traditionalist and innovator, astute enough to realize what was necessary for Egypt’s continued prosperity and sufficiently ruthless to allow nothing to stand in her way.

Yet our understanding of Cleopatra has been obscured by Roman propaganda, Shakespearean tragedy, and Hollywood glamour. Cleopatra the Great pieces together the pharaoh’s ancient world with details about her massive library and infamous banquets, her relationships with both Julius Caesar and Mark Antony, and her skillful use of fashion and style to further her ambitions and her mystique. Intelligent and compulsively readable, here is an unparalleled biography worthy of its subject.


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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - VincentDarlage - LibraryThing

The writing was a bit rough at times - with too much reliance on "no doubt" and other phrases that ironically show doubt - I felt like a got a fairly good picture of Cleopatra from this biography. The writing also spends WAY too much space describing feasts. Read full review

Review: Cleopatra the Great: The Woman Behind the Legend

User Review  - Larry - Goodreads

This is quite a thrilling book. Dr Fletcher dives into much greater detail about the social situation, the dress, the diet, the customs of the age than most biographies of Cleopatra. Dr. Fletcher is ... Read full review


Cleopatras Early
Cleopatra Meets Caesar
the Progress down the Nile
the Birth of Caesarion
Cleopatra in Europe
Osiris Avenged
Antonius and Conspicuous
the Restoration
Defeat Death and Eternal Life

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About the author (2011)

Dr. Joann Fletcher is an honorary research and teaching fellow at the University of York, where she teaches Egyptian funerary archaeology and mummification. The author of numerous articles and books, she also lectures widely. She lives in Yorkshire, England.

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