Book review: I Am Livia by Phyllis T. Smith

I Am LiviaI Am Livia by Phyllis T. Smith

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This is the first novel written by Phyllis Smith.

The plot describes Livia Drusilla’s life, being the daughter of Marcus Livius Drusus Claudianus by his wife Aufidia.

The book starts with the assassination of Julius Caesar. Her first marriage was with Tiberius Claudius Nero, her cousin of patrician status who was fighting with er father on the side of Julius Caesar’s assassins against Octavian. She had two children, namely Tiberius and Drusus.

But her true love was the emperor Augustus but she wasn’t able to produce an heir to his throne.

The book doesn’t bring anything new to the well-known Livia’s life: it depicts all facts which are described by Wikipedia.

Additionally, the writer doesn’t employ the ordinary historical fiction’s style of writing, on the contrary, this book is mostly a historical romance than anything else. For further details, please take a look at Twelvejan’s review.

Livia’s like was described in several other books such as: I Claudius, by Robert Graves and Antony and Cleopatra, the last novel in Colleen McCullough’s Masters of Rome series.

A movie, written by Eric Lerner, was made based on Augustus’ life: Imperium: Augustus (2003), with Peter O’Toole, Charlotte Rampling, Vittoria Belvedere. This movie is available at YouTube.


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