2011-12-06 / Community

Patten Free book group reads ‘Cleopatra’

BATH — Patten Free Library’s book discussion group has selected the bestseller “Cleopatra” by Stacy Schiff for its Dec. 14 meeting.

Copies are available in the Minerva library consortium. For those who prefer to buy their own copy, Bath Book Shop gives a 20 percent discount to book groups, according to a Patten Free Library release.

“ Though Cleopatra’s life spanned fewer than 40 years, it reshaped the contours of the ancient world,” a publisher’s synopsis in the release states. “ She was married twice, each time to a brother. She waged a brutal civil war against the first when both were teenagers. She poisoned the second. Ultimately, she dispensed with an ambitious sister as well; assassination was a family specialty.

“Cleopatra appears to have had been with only two men. They happen, however, to have been Julius Caesar and Mark Antony, among the most prominent Romans of the day. Both were married to other women. Cleopatra had a child with Caesar and — after his murder — three more with his protégé. Already she was the wealthiest ruler in the Mediterranean; the relationship with Antony confirmed her status as the most influential woman of the age. The two would together attempt to forge a new empire, in an alliance that spelled their ends.”

The library’s book club meets at 6:30 p.m. the second Wednesday of every month in the second floor conference room. For the complete list of titles and meeting dates, visit www.patten.lib.me.us. No registration is required. Attendance is free.

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