Art History in “Cleopatra: A Life” by Stacy Schiff

To buy the audiobook, click on the cover

 My interest in this book originated from hearing comedian Greg Proops read an excerpt.  When I finally checked out Robin Miles’ audiobook edition from my local library, I felt little to no disappointment while listening.  I had complaints, but they were minor.

In a word, wow.  I felt overwhelmed by the descriptions of Alexandria, Egypt.  Schiff left no detail involving architecture and sculpture unwritten, for every bauble and temple receives a mention.  Seriously, listening to Schiff’s prose in audiobook format will make you want to stretch out on an expensive, plump sofa.

She does more than just make pretty scenes.  She recounts numerous stories of commissioned statues that establishes ties to the divine and using busts of former lovers to negotiate with a jailer (we all know who).  When wrapping up this epic tale, Schiff gave a list of the many artists who devoted their canvas to the queen in the centuries after her death.

So please, if you love detailed writing, find this book.

Update 1-3-2015: Corrected a link.  I also rewrote a sentence to clarify my original interest in this book.

I tweaked another sentence.

Update 7-19-2017:  Listening to the audio book, I understood the ecstatic reaction Proops had to the text.  I felt the same way listening to it in its original context.  He whet my appetite when he read a paragraph.

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