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BOTW0120130617When Peter Stothard, former editor of The Times and now editor of the Times Literary Supplement, finds himself in Alexandria in the winter of 2010 after his flight to South Africa has been cancelled, he sets out to explore a nation on the brink of revolution.
Accompanied by two native Egyptians, Mohammed and Socratis, whose eagerness to spend time with him is never really explained, Stothard traces his lifelong interest in the history of Cleopatra, and his repeated failure to write the book about her that he has started so many times.
Melancholy and sometimes humorous, Alexandria filters the life of a classics scholar turned journalist through the prism of Cleopatra's turbulent history - while all around the author, the cracks begin to appear in Hosni Mubarak's own empire.
Episode 1 (of 5):
Pieces of paper, sketches and maps on a hotel room bed and the remarkable story behind the only fragment of parchment to bear Cleopatra's signature - a political gesture sanctioning a tax break.
Read by Kenneth Cranham
Abridged and Produced by Jill Waters
A Waters Company production for BBC Radio 4.
The remarkable story behind the only fragment of parchment to bear Cleopatra's signature.
BOTW0220130618Peter was a bookish child, who began his only work of fiction, featuring Cleopatra, aged 9
When Peter Stothard, former editor of The Times and now editor of the Times Literary Supplement, finds himself in Alexandria in the winter of 2010 after his flight to South Africa has been cancelled, he sets out to explore a nation on the brink of revolution.
Accompanied by two native Egyptians, Mohammed and Socratis, whose eagerness to spend time with him is never really explained, Stothard traces his lifelong interest in the history of Cleopatra, and his repeated failure to write the book about her that he has started so many times.
Melancholy and sometimes humorous, Alexandria filters the life of a classics scholar turned journalist through the prism of Cleopatra's turbulent history - while all around the author, the cracks begin to appear in Hosni Mubarak's own empire.
Episode 2 (of 5):
Peter Stothard was a bookish child who began his only work of fiction, featuring Cleopatra, aged 9. The new library in Alexandria is the obvious place to visit, and his own name the obvious one to look up in its vast catalogues of published work.
Read by Kenneth Cranham
Abridged and Produced by Jill Waters
A Waters Company production for BBC Radio 4.
BOTW0320130619A meal with the author's friends Mahmoud and Socratis takes a bizarre conversational turn.
When Peter Stothard, former editor of The Times and now editor of the Times Literary Supplement, finds himself in Alexandria in the winter of 2010 after his flight to South Africa has been cancelled, he sets out to explore a nation on the brink of revolution.
Accompanied by two native Egyptians, Mohammed and Socratis, whose eagerness to spend time with him is never really explained, Stothard traces his lifelong interest in the history of Cleopatra, and his repeated failure to write the book about her that he has started so many times.
Melancholy and sometimes humorous, Alexandria filters the life of a classics scholar turned journalist through the prism of Cleopatra's turbulent history - while all around the author, the cracks begin to appear in Hosni Mubarak's own empire.
Episode 3 (of 5):
A meal with the author's two newly acquired friends, Mahmoud and Socratis, takes a bizarre conversational turn.
Read by Kenneth Cranham
Abridged and Produced by Jill Waters
A Waters Company production for BBC Radio 4.
BOTW0420130620When Peter Stothard, former editor of The Times and now editor of the Times Literary Supplement, finds himself in Alexandria in the winter of 2010 after his flight to South Africa has been cancelled, he sets out to explore a nation on the brink of revolution.
Accompanied by two native Egyptians, Mohammed and Socratis, whose eagerness to spend time with him is never really explained, Stothard traces his lifelong interest in the history of Cleopatra, and his repeated failure to write the book about her that he has started so many times.
Melancholy and sometimes humorous, Alexandria filters the life of a classics scholar turned journalist through the prism of Cleopatra's turbulent history - while all around the author, the cracks begin to appear in Hosni Mubarak's own empire.
Episode 4 (of 5):
A visit to a carpet shop and a history lesson: ancient and modern.
Read by Kenneth Cranham
Abridged and Produced by Jill Waters
A Waters Company production for BBC Radio 4.
BOTW05 LAST20130621When Peter Stothard, former editor of The Times and now editor of the Times Literary Supplement, finds himself in Alexandria in the winter of 2010 after his flight to South Africa has been cancelled, he sets out to explore a nation on the brink of revolution.
Accompanied by two native Egyptians, Mohammed and Socratis, whose eagerness to spend time with him is never really explained, Stothard traces his lifelong interest in the history of Cleopatra, and his repeated failure to write the book about her that he has started so many times.
Melancholy and sometimes humorous, Alexandria filters the life of a classics scholar turned journalist through the prism of Cleopatra's turbulent history - while all around the author, the cracks begin to appear in Hosni Mubarak's own empire.
Episode 5 (of 5):
The author recalls seeing Elizabeth Taylor in the 1963 film Cleopatra. In the meantime the Arab Spring begins.
Read by Kenneth Cranham
Abridged and Produced by Jill Waters
A Waters Company production for BBC Radio 4.
The author recalls seeing Elizabeth Taylor in the 1963 film Cleopatra.

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