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