Title of the work
Country of the First Edition
First Edition Date
First Edition Details
Clint Twist, Cleopatra: The Last Pharaoh. Ian Andrew, Diz Wallis, and Eloise A. Lambert, ill., Historical Notebooks Series, Dorking, Surrey: Templar Publishing, 2012, 32 pp.
Instructional and educational works
Toy and movable books
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Author of the Entry:
Agnieszka Maciejewska, University of Warsaw, firstname.lastname@example.org
Peer-reviewer of the Entry:
Elżbieta Olechowska, University of Warsaw, email@example.com
Lisa Maurice, Bar-Ilan University, firstname.lastname@example.org
Portrait, courtesy of the Author.
, b. 1953
Clint Twist was born in 1953. He studied history and English at Cambridge University, then worked as a journalist and museum consultant before focussing on writing. He has published over 100 books for children, young adults and adults. Among his books for children there are titles such as Marco Polo: History's Great Adventurer, Weird Animals Dictionary and 1000 Things You Should Know About Oceans. He usually writes about science, history and nature. In 2009 he received the Best Children’s Illustrated Book Award for his book Charles Darwin and the Beagle Adventure. Apart from writing books, he is a book editor and writes articles. One of his edited works is The Mythology Handbook: A Course in Ancient Greek Myths (2009).
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Bio prepared by Agnieszka Maciejewska, email@example.com
This book is a heavily illustrated biography of Cleopatra. The introduction shows Cleopatra as a popular icon through the ages. A chronological description of events opens with background information about Alexander the Great, the Ptolemaic dynasty in Egypt, and Cleopatra's death. The inclusion of a fictional diary enables the reader to imagine how Cleopatra felt. Numerous illustrations (paintings, engravings, sculptures etc.) enrich the reader's experience and provide additional information. As is typical for activity books, the book uses many illustrations. For example, there are historical maps that the reader unfolds or postcards that can open. These items provide the reader with additional information or trivia about fashion (types of crowns, wigs, jewellery etc.) or the culture of ancient Egypt (customs, rituals and etymology). The book includes a chronologically correct biography and notes on the most prominent historical figures that lived in the times of the Queen. The most important element of the book is the fictional diary of Cleopatra, fragments of which are dispersed throughout the book. The last entry explains the Queen's actions. She leaves her legacy in the reader's hands and declares that as long as she is remembered, her glory continues.
The book presents a massive amount of information about Cleopatra's life and the myths that have grown around her person. It is a perfect example of presenting a biography in an attractive and enjoyable way that older children will appreciate. The variety and quantity of illustrations stimulate the imagination and help understand the times in which Cleopatra lived. The visual elements come from different periods, with examples of ancient, renaissance, baroque and modern art. The book shows the importance of cultural context when studying biography. The artwork shows changing points of view according to the age in which it was produced.
Ruth Martin, an established British author for children and editor of series for children, fiction and non-fiction, contributed to Cleopatra: The Last Pharaoh. She is mentioned in the book as the person who enriched Twist's story by adding a fictional diary of Cleopatra. For more biographical details see Martin's page at: www.uk.linkedin.com/in/ruthhoopermartin.