Antony and Cleopatra (novel)

Antony and Cleopatra is the seventh and purposely last novel in Colleen McCullough's Masters of Rome series, published in 2007.

Antony and Cleopatra
First edition cover
AuthorColleen McCullough
SeriesMasters of Rome series
GenreHistorical novel
PublisherSimon & Schuster
Publication date
December 4, 2007
Media typePrint (Hardback)
Pages567 pp (first edition, hardback)
ISBN1-4165-5294-4 (first edition, hardback)
823/.914 22
LC ClassPR9619.3.M32 A58 2007
Preceded byThe October Horse (novel) 
Followed bynone 

Plot summary

McCullough continues her Masters of Rome series with the seventh and final installment, Antony and Cleopatra. The novel spans the years 41 BC to 27 BC, from the aftermath of the Battle of Philippi and the suicide of Marcus Junius Brutus and Gaius Cassius Longinus until the downfall of the second triumvirate, the final war of the Roman Republic and the renaming of Octavian to Augustus in 27 BC . The novel, which was McCullough's last in the series, focuses mainly on the famous love story between Mark Antony, victor at Philippi, and queen Cleopatra, earlier the lover of Julius Caesar.

This book differs greatly from Shakespeare's treatment of these events; Cleopatra is portrayed as no great beauty, but rather an inept politician who helps ruin Antony's cause by publicly meddling in affairs of state, and Antony is, for much of the book, far more in love with Cleopatra's wealth than her person. Caesarion is portrayed as a gifted, idealistic youth who would be far happier had he never been a king, and who is not happy with his mother's ambitious plans to make him ruler of all the East. Octavian and his wife Livia are depicted as pragmatic to the point of total ruthlessness but not needlessly cruel.

Characters in Antony and Cleopatra

Notable historical figures

Release details

  • 2007, US, Simon & Schuster (ISBN 1-4165-5294-4), Pub date 4 December 2007, hardcover (First edition)
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