Press Release: Cleopatra
Anne of Avonlea
Illustrated by Anna C. Leplar
Introduced by Lucy Hughes-Hallett
‘A formidable and spellbinding achievement’
‘A goddess as a child, a queen at eighteen, a celebrity soon thereafter, she
was an object of speculation and veneration, gossip and legend, even in her
own time.’ Few historical figures can rival Cleopatra as an object of fantasy
and myth. Here, Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer Stacy Schiff returns to
the original sources to untangle legend from historical record. The result
is a brilliant pairing of biographer and subject, already hailed as a classic in
Distinguished for its luminous prose and outstanding research, Cleopatra
is a deeply original reconstruction of a dazzling life. In this Folio Society
edition, a rich new selection of colour images display the opulence and
abundance of Cleopatra’s world.
Schiff immerses us in this age of epic events and immense personalities. Mark Antony ‘had been a gifted school boy. He was in many ways still a school boy. He was also a gifted, straight-thinking strategist.’ Octavian, Cleopatra’s nemesis, ‘controlled the historical record every bit as firmly as he was said to have controlled his adolescent sexual urges’. Cleopatra herself emerges as a shrewd power-broker who drew on all her considerable gifts – learning, charm and immense wealth rather than beauty – to protect her own empire against the might of Rome.
Coolly sceptical of Roman propaganda, Schiff provides the historical
context for myths such as Cleopatra’s suicide-by-snake. She also notes
the status of Cleopatra’s female compatriots, who unlike Roman matrons ‘owned vineyards, wineries, papyrus marshes, ships, perfume businesses … As much as one third of Ptolemaic Egypt may have been in female hands.’ In her introduction, historian Lucy Hughes Hallett notes that ‘Stacy Schiff ’s book, robust, energetic and clear-sighted, presents a Cleopatra suited to our times.’
Bound in blocked metallic cloth. Set in Minion. 384 pages.
Frontispiece and 24 pages of colour plates. 2 maps. 10˝ x 6¾˝.
UK £39.95 US $64.95 Can $82.95 Aus $82.95
For media enquiries please contact
UK & ROW Nicola Handley, Cherish PR
020 8735 4245, firstname.lastname@example.org
US & Canada
Cathleen P. Williamson (617) 435-5505, CathleenPW@gmail.com