Saturday, January 7, 2012

Book 32 - Cleopatra Rules by Vicky Alvear Shecter - Alexandria, Egypt

The cover of this book is a complete forerunner of the tone and style of this history of Cleopatra. It is very chatty and colloquial, it is full of glamour and gossip BUT at the same time it brings into focus that the historians who wrote about Cleopatra closest to the time of her life were Romans - her sworn enemies and the ones who maligned her character. The writer maintains that to trully understand Cleopatra we have to try to take as many views of her as possible from as many sources. Very balanced approach.

Some things I didn't know about Cleoptara before reading this book: She was a book worm, she hung out at the library at Alexandria. She could speak and read many languages. She had a son with Juliius Caesar and three children (including a twins) with Mark Antony. She was a strategist and knew how to sway public opinion in her favour when in Egypt but was powerless to move the crowd in Rome.

A fascinating read and though not strictly Young Adult fiction I am still counting it in my total due to the style of writing in the book. I hope this will prove popular with the readers of our school.