Actress, Empress, Whore

Book - 2011
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"A bravura performance: a witty, moving, sexy book that bursts with as much color and excitement as the city of Constantinople itself." - Financial Times

Roman historian Procopius publicly praised Theodora of Constantinople for her piety-while secretly detailing her salacious stage act and maligning her as ruthless and power hungry. So who was this woman who rose from humble beginnings as a dancer to become the empress of Rome and a saint in the Orthodox Church? Award-winning novelist Stella Duffy vividly recreates the life and times of a woman who left her mark on one of the ancient world's most powerful empires. Theodora: Actress, Empress, Whore is a sexy, captivating novel that resurrects an extraordinary, little-known figure from the dusty pages of history.

Publisher: New York : Penguin Books, c2011.
ISBN: 9780143119876
Characteristics: 339 p. ; 20 cm.


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Aug 04, 2012

Didn't enjoy this as much as I thought I would. Didn't even finish the book.

Nov 06, 2011

Certainly one of the most influential women in antiquity, Theodora, Empress of Byzantium, is also one of the most intriguing. Sinner or saint, wife or whore? Unfortunately we are never likely to know the truth. But in this fictional account of her life, author Duffy places a very human Theodora in the situation she found herself in. Raised from an early age to be a performer (in both public stages and private bedrooms), Theodora had little choice in her fate. But Duffy that makes the reader believe it is possible for someone to rise from the dust and grime of the streets and slums of Constantinople to become the most powerful woman in the world. This Theodora is neither sinner or saint, just trying to survive and make her station better whenever she can. Very interesting book to read, even if you are not well versed in the history of the era. Word of warning though: while never overly explicit, some of the earlier "training" of the 11 year old Theodora in the arts of stage and bedroom may be a bit much to read, so use caution.


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