- STAFF PICKS
- GIFTS + GIFT CARDS
- SELL BOOKS
- FIND A STORE
This item may be
Check for Availability
Cleopatra the Great: The Woman Behind the Legend
Synopses & Reviews
World-Renowned Egyptologist Dr. Joann Fletcher offers an unparalleled look at one of historys 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 Egypts 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 pharaohs 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.
"Egyptologist Fletcher (The Search for Nefertiti) has undoubtedly established the new standard in biographies of the attractive, and probably redhaired, Cleopatra. Exceedingly well-written, her study of the last Ptolemy to rule Egypt is a comprehensive examination of Hellenistic bloodlines, Mediterranean history, Egyptian religion, and the rise of Rome as the ultimate ancient superpower. 'oth traditionalist and innovator,' Cleopatra was noted for her natural intelligence, superior education, and innate political instincts. Constantly striving to preserve her own authority and, by extension, Egyptian autonomy, she outwitted her co-regent brother and other Graeco-Egyptian rivals, and famously cemented personal and political alliances with Julius Caesar and Marcus Antonius. Ultimately, of course, her abilities failed her, and Octavian, Caesar's nephew, reduced Egypt to a Roman province, an event Cleopatra chose not to witness. Hopefully, Fletcher's excellent work in every respect (it could only have been strengthened with information about the Egyptian people themselves) will not be lost in the wake of Stacy Schiff's bestselling Cleopatra. 8 pages of color illus. (Apr.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
“Joann Fletcher has the good grace and specialist knowledge to do away with Roman romances. This books bedrock is Egyptology. . . . Cleopatra was, indeed, not just a ‘baleful beauty; she was great.” —History Today
World-renowned Egyptologist Joann Fletcher offers an extraordinary look at one of Egypt's most intriguing leaders—the legendary Cleopatra. In the tradition of biographies by Stacy Shiff, Duane Roller, and Adrian Goldsworthy, and drawing on astonishing new evidence about Cleopatras life—including tax records, personal correspondence, and the discovery of her palace quarters beneath the Mediterranean Sea—Fletcher presents Cleopatras life in glorious detail, revealing the woman behind the myths.
About the Author
Dr. Joann Fletcher is an Honorary Research Fellow in the Department of Archaeology at the University of York and Consultant Egyptologist for Harrogate Museums and Arts. She has undertaken excavation work in Egypt, Yemen, and the UK, and has examined mummies both on site and in collections around the world. Dr. Fletcher writes for The Guardian newspaper and the BBC's History Online Web site, and has made numerous appearances on television and radio. She divides her time between her native Yorkshire, northern France, and Egypt.
What Our Readers Are Saying