Cleopatra by Polly Schoyer Brooks
Goddess of Egypt, Enemy of Rome

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Synopsis

"For her actual beauty was not itself remarkable . . . but the contact of her presence . . . was irresistible; the attraction of her person, joining with the charm of her conversation . . . was something bewitching. it was a pleasure merely to hear her voice, with which, like an instrument Of many strings, she could pass from one language to another."--Plutarch

CLEOPATRA, last of the Ptolemy rulers of Egypt and mother to both Julius Caesar's and Mark Antony's children, inspired countless myths and legends as well as the greatest poets and dramatists throughout the ages. Intriguing both to her admirers and to her critics, Cleopatra's sheer presence and inimitable actions elicited passionate responses from the moment she was smuggled inside her own palace to meet Caesar to her debut as a warrior queen at the illfated battle of Actium. An educated woman and politically savvy ruler, she wisely encouraged her subjects to worship her as the Egyptian goddess Isis, even as she traced her own ancestry back to a Macedonian Greek, Alexander the Great. Her Roman enemies tried to ruin her by casting her as a dangerous and immoral foreign queen, "the serpent of the Nile," but even they respected her courage when she took her own life rather than be taken prisoner to Rome.

Throughout her reign, Cleopatra was such a powerful force in the struggle between East and West for control of the Mediterranean world that no one ever dared ignore or underestimate her.

Polly Schoyer Brooks's fascinating portrait of this vital young queen will leave readers speculating whether the history of the Western world would have been different had Cleopatra succeeded in her dream of an empire ruled jointly by Rome and the Ptolemies of Alexandria.

‘In this lively and entertaining biography, Brooks does an admirable job of presenting a well-rounded picture of the most famous queen of all time. . . . Short and straightforward enough for a middle-schooler, this biography is also complete and complex enough to satisfy any reader interested in the time period.''VOYA.

 

About Polly Schoyer Brooks

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Polly Schoyer Brooks lives in New Canaan, Connecticut, where she enjoys her four children, ten grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren.
 
Published November 1, 1995 by Harpercollins Childrens Books. 151 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Children's Books.

Unrated Critic Reviews for Cleopatra

Publishers Weekly

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Brooks (Queen Eleanor: Independent Spirit of the Medieval World) argues eloquently, and with a dash of feminist zeal, that Cleopatra's long-standing image as seductress and ``wicked, lustful manipulat

Oct 30 1995 | Read Full Review of Cleopatra: Goddess of Egypt, ...

The New York Times

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CLEOPATRA MELIDONEANU, prima donna of the Bucharest Operetta, brought a touch of Rumania to 57th Street early Saturday evening with a Carnegie Recital Hall program of Enesco, Popovici, Constantinescu, Dragoi, Tanasescu, Alessandrescu, Dendrino and nine ''Doina'' folk songs.

Jun 01 1981 | Read Full Review of Cleopatra: Goddess of Egypt, ...

The New York Times

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Although it’s not Schiff’s purpose to present us with a feminist revision of a life plucked from antiquity, in order to “restore” Cleopatra — to see her at all — one must strip away an “encrusted myth” created by those for whom “citing her sexual prowess was evidently less discomfiting than ackno...

Nov 04 2010 | Read Full Review of Cleopatra: Goddess of Egypt, ...

Publishers Weekly

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Brooks (Queen Eleanor: Independent Spirit of the Medieval World) argues eloquently, and with a dash of feminist zeal, that Cleopatra's long-standing image as seductress and ``wicked, lustful manipulator'' springs from the volumes of vituperative Roman propaganda written during her lifetime and ig...

| Read Full Review of Cleopatra: Goddess of Egypt, ...

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