[Read] ➭ The Memoirs of Cleopatra By Margaret George – 91videos.co

I tried my best, I really did Made it to 300 pages out of 1063 I just can t waste any of my time into a book that reads like a 15 year old s school essay about Cleopatra VII It was obviously well researched, and the first page promised a lot I love verbose descriptions when they re done well, but George s bulky and awkward sentences made me want to tear my hair off and stick scarabs into my eyes Quite heartbreaking actually, because I had such enormous expectations based on the GR rating which basically promised a masterpiece Instead I got paper doll characters, whom I had no contact whatsoever, and events described in such a way that I started glancing the page numbers after 50 pages The whole thing was a major overkill, like the author was constantly banging me in the head with a shovel in order to make sure I understood everything Seriously, the last days of the Egyptian kingdom, and the life of a woman with the utmost intelligence and knowledge in languages aren t deserving of this dull treatment 3.5 stars, but I m going to round it up to 4 because the enjoyment I got out of it outweighed the flaws.The positives, to me, were The focus It s a Cleopatra novel that is actually about Cleopatra My major contention with other novels about the last Pharaoh is that they tend to emphasise too much on her liaisons with Caesar and Antony to the detriment of herself as a ruler Cleopatra had a life of her own independent of these Roman men who, while certainly very important in her life, weren t the end all be all of her story Another point, that s not a flaw, is that her story is placed within the larger narrative of the fall of the Republic, in which she had a role because of Antony s involvement in warring with Octavian, which is also just a part of her story and not all.In this novel, Cleopatra is seen from childhood, long before anything Roman rolled into her Egyptian court life She s seen as a child princess in a shaky position, seen struggling through the palace coups by her siblings, seen with Caesar and without, seen as a mother, as a ruler, as a big sister to young Ptolemy, etc There s a lot of her later romance and marriage to Antony, too, and thankfully by then we ve seen enough of her other facets already by the time he s in her life The first person narration also helps in making it her tale, despite the pitfalls of using this style.Portrayal of the main character The common portrayal of the scheming temptress who lured powerful Romans into her den of Eastern sensuality and perdition is Augustan propaganda That is, it s Octavian s version of Cleopatra, and he had motives for blackening her name despite her defeat at his hands Unfortunately, that s the one that s persisted the most, even McCullough the author of the best series on the Roman Republic, in my opinion has resorted to this, and it s also seen in some measure even in famous Hollywood films that supposedly romanticise Cleopatra as a tragic figure, but that in reality do her a disservice with their weird notion of positive portrayal The Cleopatra in George s novel is nothing like this, and curiously, that s one complaint I ve seen thrown at this novel Maybe people are too used to the Scheming Cleo image Because I ve not seen that the Cleopatra in this novel isn t scheming or calculating or manipulative even she s all that It s just that it s devoid of the lurid element that d make it stand out as her main trait She also makes mistakes, grave ones, but she s not framed as a blundering idiot for that As for the negatives, I d say they were Editing, editing, editing The book would ve been greatly serviced by a attentive editor It reads as if the only editing done was by the author herself, who doesn t seem to have yet mastered self editing at the time she wrote the novel I won t say anything about the pace, because that s subjective some readers like or at least don t have trouble with slow and ponderous storytelling, other readers can t stand it and abandon the book, and yet other readers can t differentiate between slow pace and deficient editing I think the slow pace did fit the scope of the story, as it spans decades, and the storytelling style, as it s first person and uses the personal memoir technique, having Cleopatra write her own story in scrolls, and this style does lend itself to rambling, to overdescription, to detours, to digressions, etc It s par for the course with first person narration And it s those detours that needed editing the most the pace itself is fine, and it s not there throughout, as some scrolls narrate at a quicker pace.Historical mistakes As usual, this is a point that s going to call History aficionados I don t throw a book at the wall for a minor mistake, nobody can know everything, and Margaret George does seem to have done her homework researching the period, to judge by her reasonings in the Author s Note by the end Nonetheless, she let slip in a few For example, she calls Gaius Octavius Thurinus by the name of Octavian one year before his posthumous adoption by Caesar that turned him into Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus, a.k.a Octavian Not that these kinds of blunders detract from the story necessarily But it does bother me Splainin Some authors can t seem to resist the temptation to talk down to the readership and explain things to them that they think won t be understood or obvious to the readers without authorial intervention And George s is the most annoying sort she translates stuff that is so glaringly obvious that it s insulting she d assume the reader needs an English equivalent right afterwards And I m not speaking of obscure words or phrases in Latin or Egyptian, in which case it d be at least understandable, but of things like When she has Mark Antony introduce himself, she translates his name side by side in the same sentence, in the vein of I m Marcus Antonius Mark Antony Same when making poet Virgil introduce himself at a party to Cleopatra Publius Vergilius Maro Vergil And again when his other fellow poet and fellow Augustan lickspittle Horace introduces himself to her Quintus Horatius Flaccus I am called Horace Oh, sure I m Marie H l ne, and my name is sooo exotic that you d never guess it s Mary Ellen in EnglishYou see what I mean It s an unnatural way of speaking, and it s not like nobody would know, since their Latin names aren t so outlandishly different that the anglicised version obfuscates the originals And it s not only names that George overexplains, in some parts she can t resist telling about a historical bit of data instead of just weaving it into the narrative.So, after all the above, I m still giving this rating Yes I did enjoy the novel, and it was a welcome change from the usual portrayals of Cleopatra I ve read to date I still think Margaret George was a tad too generous with Mark Antony s character, because he doesn t emerge as so noble from the historical records as he does in this novel, even after lifting the veil of propaganda and political slander. Bestselling Novelist Margaret George Brings To Life The Glittering Kingdom Of Cleopatra, Queen Of The Nile, In This Lush, Sweeping, And Richly Detailed Saga Told In Cleopatra S Own Voice, This Is A Mesmerizing Tale Of Ambition, Passion, And Betrayal, Which Begins When The Twenty Year Old Queen Seeks Out The Most Powerful Man In The World, Julius Caesar, And Does Not End Until, Having Survived The Assassination Of Caesar And The Defeat Of The Second Man She Loves, Marc Antony, She Plots Her Own Death Rather Than Be Paraded In Triumph Through The Streets Of Rome Most Of All, In Its Richness And Authenticity, It Is An Irresistible Story That Reveals Why Margaret George S Work Has Been Widely Acclaimed As The Best Kind Of Historical Novel, One The Reader Can T Wait To Get Lost In This book was a tradition for me to read each summer I relished school getting out and lounging in the pool, day by day, and reading through these pages It took the whole summer to read, too, because this book is a monster.After graduating college, I stopped reading this book every summer But I still pick it up time to time and read my favorite passages.If you have any interest at all in Queen Cleopatra, you will love this book However, if you re like me, after reading this book any other book about her will be ruined for you Nothing really can compare with Margaret George s treatment of the subject her research was exhaustive, and this certainly comes through with the level of detail in the text.Not only that, George s writing style is exactly what you would imagine Cleopatra to feel, sound and be like George really brings Cleopatra to life through the writing By the time you get to the end and Cleopatra is dictating her final scroll, you ve undergone this amazing journey with her through her life and you don t want it to end This book is definitely not to be missed don t let the size of it intimidate you you won t be disappointed I wouldn t have thought it possible to make the reign of Queen Cleopatra dull, but that s exactly what Margaret George has achieved in The Memoirs of Cleopatra, a 900 page hair puller of a novel Books like this make me wish I wasn t a Finisher I wish I had mastered the art of abandoning a novel halfway through, but, alas, once I start a book, I m committed.Not that Memoirs is a total loss I set out to read it wanting to learn about Queen Cleopatra s reign and I ve certainly done that The book is packed to the gills with information Unfortunately, it s also overloaded with dull, pedantic sentences, such as It was time for Saturnalia again, that holiday celebrating license I understood it a little better now it seemed to have something to do with Saturn pg 320 so it s hard to get real worked up about the experience.Each section reads like a 5th grader s five paragraph essay on some aspect of Cleopatra s reign This happened And then this happened And this was how I felt about it There were a few chapters, in the first third of the book, where George insisted on saying on what seemed like every other page that loyalty was the trait Queen Cleopatra valued most, and betrayal the sin she detested most of all I understood you the first time, Margaret Even scenes such as Caesar s death in the Senate failed to strike any kind of emotional chord Indeed, George glosses over the moment completely, preferring to focus on a bizarre, fictitious scene in which Cleopatra spends the first few minutes after she s heard of the incident comforting the messenger boy who told her about it The relationship between Caesar and Cleopatra, as recounted by George, also wasn t something I entirely understood In George s version, Caesar comes across as an abusive, manipulating jerk For all I know, this may well have been the historical case However, George s Cleopatra fails to feel any kind of meaningful qualms about Caesar s behavior She behaves like a lovelorn slave girl than the intelligent, savvy Queen we all know from history And whenever Cleopatra and Caesar make love in the story, it s the same Damn Scene Every Single Time George describes Caesar as being quick and inventive, on both the battlefield and in bed, but her prose are anything but Skip this unforgivable read and pick up your old high school history book It s bound to be fresh, invigorating, and inventive. This is my car bookwhat is a car book The book I keep in my car for those occasions such as appointments, waiting or dining out alone, when I want a book to read I have owned this book since November of 2006 and I am only, maybe, halfway through itbut I have loved savoring it in these short bursts I have often thought of pulling it out of the car and reading it full stop, but then I think it would spoil the fun.I love this book First career was as an archaeologist, so I LOVE all the tiny details that are in this book It makes for a fuller mental image, in my opinion I think I will actually mourn the end of this book when I do finish it, as I have been reading it for so longI will probably buy another Margaret George book for my next car book We use what we have, and I have been blessed indeed by what fate has send my way.This was an amazing book about an extraordinary woman I am intimidated by big books this one was almost 1200 pages , as I am always scared that I ll get bored halfway through This was definitely not a problem with The Memoirs of Cleopatra I walked away feeling that I knew Cleopatra, Caesar, Marc Anthony, and that I had walked the streets of Alexandria and Rome The author writes beautifully, and I really appreciated the fact that she made these historical figures so human, and also that she downplayed events, with no unnecessary melodrama.I can t remember when last I liked a protagonist so much She was truly a phenomenal woman she spoke eight languages, descended from the oldest royal house and ruled the richest country in the world In this rendition of her life she is also kind, passionate and funny I was touched by her love for two very different men, and how well Margaret George portrayed the love, balancing it with Cleopatra s ambition Although I was thoroughly impressed with Caesar as a leader, I lost my heart to Marc Anthony I highly recommend this to anyone interested in Cleopatra, but also to anyone who enjoys well researched and written historical fiction.The Story The mesmerizing story of Queen Cleopatra in her own words from the young queen s earliest memories of her father s tenuous rule to her own reign over one of the most glittering kingdoms in the world this is an enthralling saga of ambition and power It is also a tale of passion that begins when the twenty one year old Cleopatra, desperate to return from exile, seeks out the one man who can help her Julius Caesar And it does not end until, having survived the assassination of Caesar and the defeat of the second man she loves, Marc Antony, she plots her own death The April read for my Tome Topple challenge Madness has been known to be defined as picking up a thousand page novel within a week of finishing another one No regrets here, though Admittedly, you need to be a certain type of reader to pick up this book It s over 1,000 pages, and if that s not enough, George s novel is pretty slow paced Not that there isn t any action, but there s an incredible amount of detail, and you need to be fairly patient.Going into this, the only thing I knew about Cleopatra VII Ptolemy besides her name , was the suicide by snake venom and her involvement with Julius Caesar and Mark Antony So safe to say, I was looking forward to finding out a lot about her life And boy, did I ever.This covers Cleopatra s life from around the age of 3 years old to her death, with a bit of an epilogue after her suicide And it was all there her children, her Roman lovers, her feud with Octavian Augustus and her badass queenship Honestly, this was a woman who got shit done.I m not gonna lie though, this could have done with a bit or maybe a lot of editing Some temple visits and some other interludes were a little bit unnecessary and kind of a bit boring Which, I mean it s a thousand pages already, let s try not to make this longer than it has to be That was probably the only negative I really had although it s kind of a biggish one , but apart from that, I really enjoyed this one, and I m looking forward to getting my hands on another Margaret George in the future. Wow, I can t believe this book is overI feel a sense of accomplishment for having finished it it s really, really long and a sense of loss that it s over The writing is so beautiful and real that it isn t a stretch at all to imagine that Cleopatra wrote it herself There are so many incredible sentences in this book I could write page after page of quotes Some of my favorites Always carry a limited gold service with you, was my motto and When fate offers you no choice you must appear to relish it and Goddesses do not grow old Those are just quick samples of some sentences that made me smile My only small complaint about this book would be the length, but, after thinking about it, this book would not have felt complete or like a true memoir if it was any shorter By spending so much time with Cleopatra you really feel like you know her by the conclusion And, you can t help but feel a dramatic sense of loss by the end even though you know it s coming Knowing doesn t make her fate any less lamentable 5 stars. Of all works of fiction, this book certainly gives the most indepth account of the fascinating and tragic Queen of Egypt.The author has clearly done extensive research and aquits this research well, in an entertaining and exteremly informative way.Not only does she have an impressive array of books and documents that she studied before embarking on this work, but she travelled to Egypt, Rome, Israel and Jordan, and spent four years working on this epic.The author explains that her sympathy is with Cleopatra, and that much of the documentation of her story, was compiled at the behest of her arch foe Octavian, and that some of her enemies included writers and poets such as Cicero, Vergil, Horace, which assured that her version of events would be silenced and the accounts would be skewed against her.The author explains that the popular modern idea that Cleopatra was unattractive is incorrect, and that the way that coins and statues were done in those days would have made her look less attractive certainly.The author gives a credible explanation of the death of her second brother Ptolemy, from comsumption,and the truth is we do not know how he died, and there is no conclusive evidence that she did indeed have him murdered.The book is not only a window into the lives of Cleopatra, Julius Ceasar, Mark Antony and Octavian, but also a portrait of the world of the time, taking us from Egypt to Nubia, Rome, Syria, Anatolia Judea, Armenia and Pathia.George fills in with an amazing cast of Cleoptra s retinue, such as her chamberlain,the eunuch Mardian, her physician Olympos, and her brilliant Hebrew finance minister, Epaphroditus The book begins with a fictional account of the rescue of the three year old Cleopatra from a sea accident in which her mother is drowned, Cleopatra s growing up in the Egyptian royal court of Alexandria, the schemes of her sisters Cleopatra and Berenice, the death of her father, the arrival of Julius Ceasar and the incident of her being smuggled to him in a rug, the battles with her siblings, the first Ptolemy and Arsinoe, her romances with Julius Ceasar and then Antony ,and the tragic and ill fated defeat of Cleopatra and Antony, by the ruthless and scheming Octavian, which could so easily have gone the other way.One finds oneselves biting ones nails at the end of the book, dealing with Cleopatra s captivity and her suicide.A compelling novel, which I read in a week.Filled with brilliant dialogue and description.