About the Story

HOW SHARP THE SERPENT’S TOOTH explores what is known -- and imagined -- about Cleopatra, the Egyptian queen who has captivated people throughout the ages.

The last of the Ptolemy rulers, Cleopatra was educated, brilliant and beautiful. She was also willing to do what she deemed necessary to retain her kingdom. History has painted her as a woman who wielded sex as a weapon and also as Mark Antony's downfall. Hollywood reinterpreted her as a kohl-rim-eyed beauty rolled in a rug. Posters -- and people -- often confuse her with Nefertiti.

So who was Cleopatra? How Sharp the Serpent's Tooth examines the sometimes vague historical record and finds a strong, proud, intelligent woman, who knew how to lead.