Cleopatra: A Life by Stacy Schiff is a thoroughly researched book that dispels the many stereotypes and myths about Cleopatra as a seductress. The author combed the classical sources to provide a well-written and believable portrait of Cleopatra as a shrewdly intelligent, dynamic and powerful woman. Born in 69 BC, and dying by her own hand at age 39, she was the only female of the ancient world to rule alone. During her life she was richer than anyone else in the Mediterranean, and her relationships with Caesar and Mark Antony confirmed her status as the most influential woman of her age. This book is a must-read for anyone interested in ancient Egypt.
Recommended by Angela Prandini