Can’t-Wait Wednesday: Agrippina: The Most Extraordinary Woman of the Roman World by Emma Southon

Posted June 12, 2019 by Stephanie in Uncategorized / 19 Comments

Can’t-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted at Wishful Endings, to spotlight and talk about the books we’re excited about that we have yet to read. It’s based on Waiting On Wednesday hosted at Breaking the Spine.

Agrippina: The Most Extraordinary Woman of the Roman World by Emma Southon
Expected publication: August 6th 2019 by Pegasus Books

In her own time, she was recognized as a woman of unparalleled power. Beautiful and intelligent, she was portrayed as alternately a ruthless murderer and helpless victim, the most loving mother and the most powerful woman of the Roman empire, using sex, motherhood, manipulation, and violence to get her way, and single-minded in her pursuit of power for herself and her son, Nero.

This book follows Agrippina as a daughter, born in Cologne, to the expected heir to Augustus’s throne; as a sister to Caligula who raped his sisters and showered them with honors until they attempted rebellion against him and were exiled; as a seductive niece and then wife to Claudius who gave her access to near unlimited power; and then as a mother to Nero—who adored her until he had her assassinated.

Through senatorial political intrigue, assassination attempts, and exile to a small island, to the heights of imperial power, thrones, and golden cloaks and games and adoration, Agrippina scaled the absolute limits of female power in Rome. Her biography is also the story of the first Roman imperial family—the Julio-Claudians—and of the glory and corruption of the empire itself.

Obviously this is a must-read for me. I’m pretty much always on the hunt for nonfiction like this upcoming book. It’s kind of a struggle to find anything relating to ancient history because there aren’t many bloggers or bookstagrammers that I know who also read these kind of books so I have to do a lot of searching to actually find new nonfiction titles, especially written by women. The last ancient history related nonfiction written by a woman that I read was When Women Ruled the World: Six Queens of Egypt by Kara Cooney which released in October 2018 so it’s been a while. But luckily enough I became aware of this new biography by Emma Southon and I am SO ready for it. Agrippina (Nero’s mother AND Caligula’s sister!) happens to be one of my favorite women in history so it’s needless to say that I’m very excited to read this book and learn more about her. 

19 responses to “Can’t-Wait Wednesday: Agrippina: The Most Extraordinary Woman of the Roman World by Emma Southon

  1. literaryfeline

    This does sound good! Although I don't read as much nonfiction as I would like, I do enjoy history, and particularly that of women. I will have to add this to my wish list. I hope you love this.

  2. Barb(Boxermommyreads)

    Doesn't sound like something I'd pick up but I'm glad you found something that interests you. And I agree, sometimes it's hard to find recommendations on non-popular genres. Hope you love this one!

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