Imperial Caesar

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Author: Rex Warner
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A biographical novel about Julius Caesar in the form of an autobiography; sequel to The Young Caesar. (From the Kirkus review, 1960) "When The Young Caesar was reviewed back in 1958 and commended as biographical historical fiction of a high order, we expressed the hope that there would be a sequel, since the story stopped with the Gallic Wars. Here is the sequel, which carries on the record through the conquest of the Germans, his invasion of Britain, the crossing of the Rubicon, the Battle of Pharsalia against Pompey, the amorous affair with Cleopatra, his campaigns in Africa and Spain -- up to the Ides of March, when, sleepless, he knew forebodings of death. The story is set in the frame of his reassessment of these years, his memory sharpened by insomnia. And the style holds closely to the mood and expression of Caesar's own writings of his campaigns. It has the same terse style, concern with facts, ruthless self-criticism - all recognized as Caesar's outstanding literary qualities, memorable even to high school students who suffered through the Gallic Wars. Today's analogies will be such writings as I, Claudius and Hadrian's Memoirs. With ample opportunity to let his imagination embroider the facts of history, Mr. Warner has used almost ascetic restraint. We may applaud him for his integrity and modesty, while regretting a somewhat dry account as the result. This is Caesar's story as he might have told it, taking for granted, on the part of the reader, the seething world of sensation and intrigue around him. This very sense of reality, coupled with military and political genius, that made Caesar great, adds authority to this novel. Mr. Warner has caught the right note, though we question its wide audience."

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