Posts Tagged ‘Stacy Schiff’

Cleopatra: The Woman Behind the Myth

December 21st, 2010 No comments

41JixniLMIL._SL160_Pulitzer Prize-winning author Stacy Schiff searches for the real woman behind the centuries old myths in the new biography Cleopatra: A Life (Little, Brown and Company, 384pgs). Historical propaganda has often painted the Egyptian queen as a scheming beauty who seduced powerful men like Julius Caesar and Marc Antony for political gain. But Schiff’s research revealed a much more intelligent and nuanced personality. “It’s astonishing how tenacious a myth is. I mean, Plutarch is the first to say that her beauty was by no means as remarkable as was her charm and her intellect. And here we are 2,000 years later and we’re still stressing the beauty,” says Schiff in an interview with SFGate. “Here you have an incredibly ambitious, accomplished woman who comes up against some of the same problems that women in power come up against today. Cleopatra plays an oddly pivotal role in world history as well; in her lifetime, Alexandria is the center of the universe, Rome is still a backwater.” Read more…