Week 3: Cleopatra. Books

Books about Cleopatra. Книги о Клеопатре

You already know my love for literature, and that every week I post relevant to the chosen theme books. Today I wanted to give you a list of the best publications about Cleopatra, both fictional and history books. Let's start with the classics!

The Classics

1. 'Antony and Cleopatra' is a beautiful tragedy written by W. Shakespeare. It follows the romantic relationships between Cleopatra and Mark Antony up until their tragic deaths. The Shakespeare's play is an origin of belief that Cleopatra was bitten on her bare breast by an asp, even though classic sources say that the poison spread to her body from the bite on the arm. Regardless of the historical fact, the Shakespeare's vision of Cleopatra's death was quickly popularised by the artists and filmmakers.

2. 'Caesar and Cleopatra' is a play written by another famous playwright, George Bernard Shaw (you probably know him for the 'Pygmalion' play that was made into the film 'My Fair Lady'). However, this play is nowhere romantic and Shaw wrote it to prove that Cleopatra was not in love with Julius Caesar, but used him for political purposes. In his work the Roman occupation of ancient Egypt is a some sort of a symbol of the British occupation during his time.

Other Fiction Novels You Will Love

TOP PICK: Lets start with 'The Memoirs of Cleopatra' by Margaret George.

Best fiction about Cleopatra

Best fiction about Cleopatra

It is extremely fascinating read and I enjoyed reading it very much, imagining it was indeed Cleopatra's diary. The richly detailed saga tells us the story of the Egyptian queen in her own voice. I was highly immersed into Cleopatra's world, and even though the Margaret George's work is indeed very long (my edition came in two thick books), at the end I felt I had undergone an exciting journey with the Egyptian Queen, from her younger years till the last breath. The research Margaret did for the book is phenomenal, and I can guarantee that it is one of the best fictional novels about Cleopatra written to these days.

2. 'Antony and Cleopatra' by Colleen McCullough. 
I absolutely love how Colleen McCullough writes. Her knowledge of Roman history is very detailed and extensive, and all characters come alive when you read it. Antony and Cleopatra is a timeless tale of passion, politics and power.

3. 'When We Were Gods: A Novel of Cleopatra' by Colin Falconer.

Just For Fun: 

There are also bunch of very emm.. peculiar books about Cleopatra, where she... gets kicked out from Hell by Satan to our modern world, fights or make love with Egyptian Gods(!), vampires(!!), werewolves(!!!) and, of course, there is a bunch of soapy erotic stories featuring our favourite Egyptian Queen. 

The 'Cleopatra's Return' by Eve Langlais seems to be one of the brightest examples of such books as it contains almost all the above mentioned elements.

History and Coffee Table Books


Week 3: Cleopatra. The Egyptian Queen's Fashion Legacy

I apologize for being absent for few days, but I had a very good reason for that. Ben and I were in Los Angeles and then drove to his hometown, Santa Barbara, where on 21st of March WE GOT MARRIED! Our secret ceremony was beautiful and I cannot wait to show you all the photographs and share our story. Also I am already starting to plan our Big Wedding that will take place next summer.

As the last week got a little bit interrupted, I wanted to continue The Cleopatra Week. I still have interesting posts to share with you!

Редкие фотографии Моники Беллучи. Клеопатра

The image of Cleopatra has not only been exciting minds of artists, writers and filmmakers. The Egyptian Queen has an incredibly recognisable fashion legacy. Designers and women all over the world draw an inspiration from the legendary female pharaoh. Today, I decided to share the best of Cleopatra inspired looks with you, with some bonuses including Top 10 Cleopatra Halloween Looks and my Cleopatra party look.

TOP 20 Cleopatra Inspired Celebrity Looks

20. Sofia Vergara 19. Hayden Panettiere 18. Nicole Kidman 17. Beyonce 16. Olivia Palermo 15. Irina Shayk

20. Sofia Vergara 19. Hayden Panettiere 18. Nicole Kidman 17. Beyonce 16. Olivia Palermo 15. Irina Shayk

14.Carrie Underwood 13.Laura Dern 12. Rose Byrne 11. Naomi Watts 10.Shriya Saran

14.Carrie Underwood 13.Laura Dern 12. Rose Byrne 11. Naomi Watts 10.Shriya Saran

9. Kim Kardashian 8. Jennifer Lopez 7. Kylie Jenner 6. Nicole Scherzinger 5. Katy Perry

9. Kim Kardashian 8. Jennifer Lopez 7. Kylie Jenner 6. Nicole Scherzinger 5. Katy Perry

4. Taylor Swift 3. Nicki Minaj 2.Giuliana Rancic 1. Bar Rafaeli

4. Taylor Swift 3. Nicki Minaj 2.Giuliana Rancic 1. Bar Rafaeli

TOP 10 Halloween & Photoshoot Cleopatra Looks

It was hard to choose the best Cleopatra looks as so many celebrities channeled their inner Egyptian Queen in the music videos, the photoshoots and at the Halloween parties. But it is not a surprise that the winner of the best Cleopatra Halloween Look goes to Heidi Klum, who is famous for her amazingly detailed, unique Halloween costumes.

10. Rihana 9. Nicki Minaj 8. Marylin Monroe 7. Kim Kardashian

10. Rihana 9. Nicki Minaj 8. Marylin Monroe 7. Kim Kardashian

6. Anne Hathaway 5. Petra Nemcova 4. Angelina Jolie 3. Kristin Kreuk 2. Katy Perry 1. Heidi Klum

6. Anne Hathaway 5. Petra Nemcova 4. Angelina Jolie 3. Kristin Kreuk 2. Katy Perry 1. Heidi Klum

My Party Look:

McKitrick Hotel party. Sleep No More

The McKitrick Hotel from time to time hosts amazing SuperCinema dress up parties. Last month it was a Romeo+Juliet Film themed party, and one of the characters you could "play" was Cleopatra, and my husband (so strange to call him like that! :)) picked her role for me. I have already shared my Cleopatra Look in one of the previous posts, but for the party I had more costumey head-piece and more dramatic make up.







Here are some photos:

Bond from Spectre skeleton and Cleopatra. Halloween Inspiration
Cleopatra party look at the McKitrick Hotel in NYC

I hope you enjoyed this post and do not forget to check our Cleopatra Themed Shop that I am updating regularly!

Week 3: Cleopatra. The Queen of The Nile in history and popular culture

The Queen of the Nile, Cleopatra in films and popular culture. Played by different actresses.

The Third Week on is dedicated to the most famous, seductive and powerful woman in the history of mankind, to the Queen of Egypt - legendary Cleopatra. To this day the mysterious persona of Cleopatra excites the minds of writers, film directors, artists and advertising creatives. Interpretation of her fashion looks are often seen on runways and red carpet events. Often none of these popular culture images of Cleopatra are true to the history. Thus, Cleopatra stays the intriguing historical figure, almost mythological creature, making us wonder who she really was.

There are some interesting facts I discovered that are often overlooked and not as widely known to the public. Here are


1. Cleopatra was one of the richest females in history

She became queen at the age of 17 or 18, and ruled Egypt with her father King Ptolemy XII Auletes. After his death she married her brothers as it was accustomed in pharaoh families. Later, during the 'game of thrones', Cleopatra put to death all her siblings, and became the only heir of Ptolemaic fortune. Today Cleopatra's wealth would equal around 100 billion dollars!

2. Cleopatra was a 'make-up guru'

It is impossible to imagine Cleopatra without her iconic bold make-up with striking eyeliner. The Egyptian queen was indeed a make up and beauty products expert. She liked to experiment with different products, and used mixes of different oils, iodine, iron oxide, seaweed, clay, henna and other ingredients for makeup. For example, to fill her beautiful brows and line the eyes, Cleopatra used Kohl - a cream made from the sheep's fat mixed with powdered lead. The Queen also had her own perfume factory near the Dead sea.

Moreover, Cleopatra was a scientist and researcher, and its is believed she wrote a book called Cosmetics. The book was a serious work about medicine and pharmacology, and also contained great beauty secrets.

Cleopatra make up. Elizabeth Taylor


Cleopatra was fluent in more than nine languages, including Greek, Arabic and Hebrew. (And I am here being proud of speaking five... Shame on me!). The Queen was also a mathematician, a scientist and was respected and highly appraised among everyone who was privileged to ever meet her. Moreover, she was charming, witty and a strong leader of Egypt. All these facts are greatly overlooked in our history as majority of the written knowledge about Cleopatra comes from enemy sources - Rome. Romans preferred to portray Cleopatra as a seductress and a mistress to powerful Roman men.

4. The Queen was magnificent, but not necessarily physically beautiful 

There is no doubt Cleopatra was an extraordinary woman, and was found irresistible by many men who looked upon on her. However, coins with her portrait, her ancient sculptures and writings about her that survived to these days, note that the Queen had strong jaw line, long nose and thin lips. Plutarch in his Life of Anthony wrote that Cleopatra's "beauty, as we are told, was in itself neither altogether incomparable, nor such as to strike those who saw her." And that the Queen's real attractiveness was her wit, charm and "sweetness in the tones of her voice."

5. Cleopatra was a Tricktress 

Cleopatra presented herself as a living goddess, the reincarnation of Isis.  She often used stagecraft and tricks to impress her people and potential allies. Cleopatra carefully planned every entrance, and used a great deal of magnificent decor, rich clothing and surprise elements to reinforce her divine status.

One of the greatest examples was when she arrived on a golden boat adorned with purple sails and rowed by oars made of silver. The Queen was made up to look like the Greek Goddess Aphrodite, and she sat beneath a gilded canopy while attendants dressed as beautiful cupids fanned her and burned sweet -smelling incense. Antony - who considered himself the embodiment of the Greek God Dionysus - was smitten.

Cleopatra in Films:

Did you know that Cleopatra is the most played female in the history of cinema? Over 50 actresses has played the role of the legendary Queen only in the movies, and much more depicted her in the theatre plays, advertisements and music videos.

Here are the most well-known film depictions of Cleopatra:

Cleopatra in films. All actress from silent movie to golden 40s and 50s. Vivien Leigh, Sophie Loren, Theda Bara and more
Все актрисы сыгравшие Клеопатру в фильмах. Элизабет Тейлор и другие. Liz Taylor and other actresses who played Cleopatra in movies.
Modern day Cleopatras. Film depictions. Actresses who played the queen of the Nile.