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CLEOPATRA by Diane Stanley


by Diane Stanley & Peter Vennema & illustrated by Diane Stanley

Age Range: 7 & up

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1994
ISBN: 0-688-10413-4
Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

 Cleopatra was a Greek-descended Egyptian queen near the turn of the first millennium. While Julius Caesar was trying to unite the world under Rome, Cleopatra was harboring similar hopes for Alexandria. When the rulers met, however, they fell in love and attempted to conquer the world together. Cleopatra stayed with Caesar until his death in 44 b.c., and afterwards she began the affair with Mark Antony that would continue until both their deaths. As the authors state in a prefatory note, the sources about Cleopatra-- other than Plutarch--are patchy and often negative, having been written by her enemies, and the only pictures we have of her are from the coins minted during her rule. Stanley and Vennema use these sources to try to give an accurate account of Cleopatra's life. In striving for accuracy, however, the authors sacrifice the romance of the story. Stanley's drawings, on the other hand, are exquisitely wrought with vivid color and fine mosaic detail. Stanley and Vennema's latest illustrated biography is a beautifully decorated, dull account of one of the most powerful women rulers of all time. Bibliography and pronunciation guide. (Biography/Picture book. 7+)