Title of the work
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Andrew Matthews, illustrated by Tony Ross, Antony and Cleopatra (Shakespeare Story). Orchard Books, 2001, 64 pp.
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Author of the Entry:
Agnieszka Maciejewska, University of Warsaw, email@example.com
Peer-reviewer of the Entry:
Elżbieta Olechowska, University of Warsaw, firstname.lastname@example.org
Susan Deacy, University of Roehampton, email@example.com
, b. 1948
Andrew Matthews is a children's and young adults’ author and illustrator. He has been short-listed twice for the Smarties Award. He has written various series retelling famous stories such as stories from Shakespeare and Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tales. Most of his books are published by Orchard Books. He wrote for them about King Arthur or illustrated Greek and Roman Myths.
Profile on Paper Plus' website (accessed: August 18, 2017).
Bio prepared by Agnieszka Maciejewska, University of Warsaw, firstname.lastname@example.org
, b. 1938
Tony Ross was born in 1938 in London. He worked as a cartoonist, a graphic designer, as the Art Director of an advertising agency, and as Senior Lecturer in Art at Manchester Polytechnic after studying at the Liverpool School of Art. Ross is an illustrator of both his own (e.g. Goldilocks and the Three Bears from 1976) and other authors’ books. He has won 10 awards for his art and has worked on 43 books. Tony has illustrated over 800 books, including the wildly successful Horrible Henry series. Currently he lives in Cheshire in England. Tony likes to experiment with his art.
Profile at the literature.britishcouncil.org (accessed: April 12, 2018).
Profile at the theguardian.com (accessed: April 12, 2018).
Profile at the us.macmillan.com (accessed: April 12, 2018).
Profile at the Harper Collins Publishers website (accessed: January 17, 2018).
horridhenry.co.uk (accessed: September 1, 2017).
There is also an interview available on YouTube (accessed: April 12, 2018).
Bio prepared by Allison Rosenblum, Bar-Ilan University, email@example.com and Sonya Nevin, University of Roehampton, firstname.lastname@example.org, and Agnieszka Maciejewska, University of Warsaw, email@example.com
The book belongs to the series by Andrew Matthews, where classic plays of William Shakespeare are retold. The story about Antony and Cleopatra is told in a form of recollections of Servius, one of Antony’s loyal soldiers. Servius goes back to recall memories from the day when he was listening to Antony giving a speech over Caesar's body. Shortly afterward, Servius was appointed to be Antony’s Centurion. Since that moment, the soldier’s memories overlap with the events known from Shakespeare's play Antony and Cleopatra and with historical facts. Servius quotes all the known events, such as the Battle of Actium, and Antony’s unsuccessful suicide attempt. Servius was actively participating in all these events. His story ends with the death of the main characters. At the end, Servius points out what kind of opinions about Antony and Cleopatra were circulating then and are now.
The book familiarizes the young reader in an interesting way with both the history of Cleopatra and Antony and the art of Shakespeare. In addition to a content that is faithful to the Shakespearean play, the reader learns about famous historical events of that period. Through the servant, Servius, we can see the historical characters from a particular perspective. Cleopatra is perceived as a hot-tempered, yet very intelligent and sensitive, woman. Antony is seen by Servius as one of the most valiant and righteous men he ever knew. The young reader, thanks to two short chapters, also has the opportunity to read about Shakespearean theatre and the love between Cleopatra and Antony. The author has included significant information in those chapters that briefly and concisely describe historical facts.