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Peter Stothard, Editor of the TLS, finds himself in Alexandria in the winter of 2010, after his flight to South Africa has been cancelled due to severe weather. Minded by two tourist guides/informers, he traces his own life-long interest in the history of Cleopatra, and his repeated failure to write about her. In this book, part memoir and part travel literature, we learn about his childhood on the Marconi estate in Essex, his schooling and education, and his jobs as journalist and editor.