I, Claudius & Claudius The God
Was Claudius the stammerer a fool or a clever manipulator of those around him? Despite his reputation as a buffoon, Claudius was destined to become Emperor. In this magnificent reconstruction of Imperial Rome, Claudius, who acts as narrator, chronicles the interminable intrigues, sexual perversions and cruelty of the Imperial households of Augustus and Tiberius, soon to culminate in the insane excesses of Caligula. But this compelling narrative also reveals the innermost thoughts of Claudius, his intense feelings of isolation and the insecurity and fear that dogged his later years when he found himself Emperor. His reign was surprisingly successful although marred by his disastrous relationships with women, including his depraved wife Messalina with whom he is forced into a final reckoning. I, Claudius received both the James Tait Black Memorial Prize and the Hawthornden Prize and both volumes were hailed as works of literary innovation on their publication.