Cleopatra: The Most Womanly of Women and the Most Queenly of Queens
– Lucy Hughes Hallett
Cleopatra, for whom Antony is imagined to have given up the chance to rule the Roman world, has been inspiring painters, poets and film-makers for over two millennia. Their voluptuous depictions of her show the changing concepts of beauty, and the racial and sexual assumptions underlying them. Images range from Roman to Renaissance to 20th century film stars such as Vivien Leigh, Elizabeth Taylor and the Carry On team’s Amanda Barry. Cleopatra became a screen onto which artists have projected their exotic and erotic fantasies.
Lucy Hughes Hallett
Lucy Hughes-Hallett is the author of The Pike: Gabriele d’Annunzio and of Cleopatra and Heroes. Her novel, Peculiar Ground was described as ‘almost Tolstoyan in its sly wit and descriptive brilliance’ (The Guardian) and ‘full of drama, vivid characters, wit, gorgeous writing and fascinating detail’. (New York Times)
A Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and of the Historical Association, she has reviewed for all of the UK’s serious newspapers and for Radio 3’s Night Waves, judged five literary prizes, and spoken at numerous literary festivals. She teaches Creative Writing at Arcadia University and at Arvon.