Review – Cleopatra: Last Queen of Egypt

Posted 17 December, 2016 by Nikki in Reviews / 4 Comments

Cover of Cleopatra by Joyce TyldesleyCleopatra: Last Queen of Egypt, Joyce Tyldesley

This book is a solid biography of Cleopatra, appreciating her cleverness and ability as a politician, and examining how the world at the time reacted to her. It’s perhaps a little drier than people would hope — how could you make Cleopatra so academic, when she’s such a colourful figure? Well, I don’t mind that at all, and I enjoyed the way it contextualised her achievements and dissected the myths surrounding her. It delves into the background of her rule and her city, as well, giving a picture of Egypt under the Ptolemies.

I’ve enjoyed other books by Tyldesley before, and though it’s not one of my areas of expertise, I have found her books well-written, referenced and clear. That’s more than I can say for some other Egyptologists who write for the pop-history crowd. Other than that, I don’t have much basis to make a judgement, but I found this one enjoyable.

Rating: 4/5

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4 Responses to “Review – Cleopatra: Last Queen of Egypt”

  1. Congratulations on reading a dryish book and enjoying it, Nikki; I only know of Cleopatra as regards her relations with Julius Caesar and Anthony and then Octavious later Augustus in Shakespeare. and North’s translations of Plutarch’s ‘Lives of the Noble Greeks and Romans’ which I read countless years ago. There was some mention in Merlin Stone’s ‘When God Was A Woman’ of the fact that Egypt may have had a lingering matriarchal culture, but that kings were imposed from without before Cleopatra’s time; but my knowledge of that is hazy, or how she came to be queen if patriarchy had been imposed…
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  2. I usually stick to reading Egyptian historical fiction and leave the non-fiction stuff for documentaries I can find on Netflix. 🙂 I read Margaret George’s huge historical fiction tome entitled Cleopatra years ago. I remember getting so attached to her and her kids I didn’t want to finish the book because there is only ONE way for that story to end.
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