This is the 4th book in McCullough's "Masters of Rome" series, and it focuses a bit more on womens' lives in ancient Rome than in past books. This has to be one of my favorite historical fiction (hi-fi) series of all time - all four books this far are oustanding. Because the author spent 13 years studying and researching the history before writing the first book, the stories are all the more fascinating as they're based on true historical events. I highly recommend reading the first three books in order: "The First Man in Rome," "The Grass Crown" and "Fortune's Favorites" before reading this book. Feel free to email with any questions. ~LeAnn
I enjoy history and learning about the great people that have shaped this world, and I was looking forward to reading this book. I made a serious attempt to read it, but after getting about 50 pages into the book I just gave up. While I was interested in the story there were just way too many difficult (and usually hard to pronounce) Greek and Roman names of people and places that were way too complicated to remember and keep track of. I think the author spends as much time concentrating on the names of Caesar's many friends and family and enemies and the places they inhabited as she does on the romance he initiates at the beginning of the book. I was disappointed with how difficult this book was to read.
Author Colleen McCullough
Genre(s) Historical Fiction
Publication date 1996
Media type Print (Hardback & Paperback)
Preceded by Fortune's Favourites
Followed by Caesar
Caesar's Women is the fourth historical novel in Colleen McCullough's Masters of Rome series, published on 21 March 1996.
The novel is set during a ten-year interval, from 68-58 BC, which Julius Caesar spent mainly in Rome, climbing the political ladder and outmanoeuvering his many enemies. It opens with Caesar returning early from his quaestorship in Spain, and closes with his epochal departure for the Gallic campaigns.
Some of the pivotal moments include: Caesar's marriage to Pompeia; his curule aedileship; his narrow election as Pontifex Maximus in 63 BC; his praetorship in 62 BC; his divorce from Pompeia; his governorship of Further Spain; the first time he was hailed imperator on the field by his troops, the blocking of his triumphal parade by Marcus Porcius Cato; the creation of the First Triumvirate, which Caesar formed with Marcus Licinius Crassus and Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus in 60 BC; his betrothal of his daughter Julia to Pompey; his marriage to Calpurnia; and his first consulship, in 59 BC.
Reflecting the title, Caesar's divorce and re-marriage come into play, as does his daughter's marriage, his lengthy affair with Servilia and his close relationship with his mother, Aurelia. However, most of the plot is concerned with the political struggles of Caesar's rise to power, his conflict with the conservative 'boni' faction, and his election to each post on the Roman ladder of government.
Cyn V. (rook) reviewed Caesar's Women (Masters of Rome, Bk 4) on
Absolutely terrible. I could not even finish it, which is truly saying something for me. I ALWAYS try to finish a book, just in case it had a rough beginning.
Had I wanted a dry read on machinations of Roman politics, this would have be a top-lister. Since I was expecting a fiction story with at least SOME entertainment, it can barely rate above "I managed not to throw it at the wall in disgust."
Bear in mind, this arises from a purely personal dislike for the style and "voice" of the author. The subject matter was obviously VERY well researched; the author simply could not put it in a format which I found worth reading.
There were terribly long passages of exposition on Roman politics and geneology which might have been intended to add dimension to the story, but instead wore on me to the point of skimming.
The few times the author managed to tell a story using character development and interaction, I found it necessary to return to the previous such moment in order to understand who the characters were! That, sadly, did not always help. Many times, the author jumped, without any form of segue, into the POV of a heretofore unknown and unannounced character.
Truly terrible book. I cannot recommend it to anyone.