New York : Little, Brown and Co., 2010.
viii, 368 pages : illustrations, maps ; 24 cm
"Her palace shimmered with onyx, garnet, and gold, but was richer still in political and sexual intrigue. Above all else, Cleopatra was a shrewd strategist and an ingenious negotiator. She was married twice, each time to a brother. She waged a brutal civil war against the first when both were teenagers. She poisoned the second. Ultimately she dispensed with an ambitious sister as well; incest and assassination were family specialties. Cleopatra appears to have had sex with only two men. They happen, however, to have been Julius Caesar and Mark Antony, among the most prominent Romans of the day. Both were married to other women. Cleopatra had a child with Caesar and -- after his murder -- three more with his protégé. Already she was the wealthiest ruler in the Mediterranean; the relationship with Antony confirmed her status as the most influential woman of her age. The two would together attempt to forge a new empire, in an alliance that spelled their ends. Cleopatra has lodged herself in our imagination ever since. ... Along the way, Cleopatra's supple personality and the drama of her circumstances have been lost. In a ... return to the classical sources, Stacy Schiff ... separates fact from fiction to rescue the magnetic queen whose death ushered in a new world order."--Jacket.