I, Claudius by Robert Graves

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Originally posted by I, Brian:

"I'm currently enjoying "I, Cladius" by Robert Graves. He really brings Claudius to life quite excellently, and it's so rich with anecdotes and detail that it reads as an actual authoritive historical account of the Roman Empire - more so than Tacitus or Suetonius! Less heavy as well, and luckily, quite averse to pointless oration and speeches, as the latter two are in the tradition of employing. In fact, it's all flowing rather nicely.

Oh, yes - that means it's a good book!"

Later post by I, Brian:

"Well, I've finished it now.

Claudius ended up being pretty weak as a character - looking at the guy's history, there was far more room for someone a little more thoughtless, vindictive, and haughty. Graves almost has Cladius as saintly! But, of course, the book finishes just as Claudius reaches his reign.

Seems to dwell far too much on the Augustine era. Proportionally to his life, there's far too much childhood scenery - and far too little of Caligula. Perhaps it's too much of a case of trying to set out a history of the early Roman Empire through a historical character association - without quite getting into the reality of that character. In other words, trying to write fact from a fictional viewpoint! Still entertaining, though."
 

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