Thursday, December 10, 2009
62. THE MEMOIRS OF CLEOPATRA - Margaret George
After reading Margaret George's novel about Mary, Queen of Scots, I knew that I wanted to try another one of her historical books. The Memoirs of Cleopatra did not disappoint.
Julius Caesar and Marc Antony are two of ancient Rome's greatest figures, and both became the lovers (and husbands - with a question mark?) of Cleopatra, the Queen of Egypt and the Nile. Most of my prior information about her involved Marc Antony (Shakespeare, the film with Liz Taylor), as well as her infamous death. However, this book is so meticulously researched that every lush, decadent detail about both the queen and her realm pulls the reader into the story.
From her childhood - the rebellion of her sisters to hold the throne over her father - through the many battles against Rome, I thought this was a historical fiction dreamland. The romantic elements involving her loves, Caesar and Antony, brought a warmth to an otherwise formidable figure on the page.
Topping 900 pages, it is a challenge for the most devoted reader. If you like historical novels, though, and especially enjoy learning new information (such cities! what characters and leaders!), you will be engulfed by this book for many wintry nights.
4.0 out of 5.0 Caesars.