Cleopatra the Great tells the story of a turbulent time and the extraordinary woman at its centre. She was Greek by descent – the last, and greatest, Egyptian pharaoh. But our understanding of her has been obscured by Roman propaganda, Shakespearean tragedy and Hollywood, with little attempt to tell her true story – until now. In the first biography for over thirty years, Joann Fletcher draws on a wealth of overlooked detail and the latest research to reveal Cleopatra as she truly was, from her first meeting with Julius Caesar to her legendary death by snakebite. Bringing the ancient world to life, Cleopatra the Great is full of tantalising details about the Pharaoh’s infamous banquets, her massive library, her goddess outfits, beauty regimes and hairstyles. Joann Fletcher discovers the real woman behind the myth.
“Everybody who has ever read a book will benefit from the way Keith Houston explores the most powerful object of our time. And everybody who has read it will agree that reports of the book’s death have been greatly exaggerated.”—Erik Spiekermann, typographer We may love books, but do we know what lies behind them? In The Book, Keith Houston reveals that the paper, ink, thread, glue, and board from which a book is made tell as rich a story as the words on its pages—of civilizations, empires, human ingenuity, and madness. In an invitingly tactile history of this 2,000-year-old medium, Houston follows the development of writing, printing, the art of illustrations, and binding to show how we have moved from cuneiform tablets and papyrus scrolls to the hardcovers and paperbacks of today. Sure to delight book lovers of all stripes with its lush, full-color illustrations, The Book gives us the momentous and surprising history behind humanity’s most important—and universal—information technology.