Livia: A Novel by Dora Benley
Livia has just returned from her search to find her fiance, Octavius, heir of Julius Casesar, in the wake of Caesar’s assassination. Octavius has fled Rome, and she was trying to save his life. She gets captured by pirates for all her trouble. When she finally catches up with her fiance she can no longer marry him. She learns that her own family, the Claudians, were behind Julius Caesar’s assassination. She can be Octavius’s mistress and nothing more. A proud girl, she spurns the thought and figure she must give him up for good.
Livia describes herself in her diary at this sad impasse:
“I can just imagine what I looked like: long coils of black hair curled in ringlets plastered all over my face, my neck, my bosom, and my shoulders — pasted on by dried salt and brine. A red silk dress clinging to my figure and slipping down over one shoulder a bit too far. Here and there still a jeweled earring or ankle bracelet poking through as a sad legacy from my other life. Looking all together like a prow ornament that had been fished up from the depths after some long ago shipwreck.”
At this low point of her life Livia would be surprised to learn that she will somebody marry the man she loves and stay married to him for 52 years. It will become one of the most legendary matches in Roman history and one of the most historically important, too. Just how this comes about is the story of this piece of fiction: Livia: A Novel by Dora Benley, another one of this author’s ancient Greek and Roman novels. If you liked this story about ancient Rome for young adults, this novel about Livia and Augustus, you will also like Book of the Dead, Helen of Troy, Cleopatra’s Stone, Caesar and Cleopatra: A Novel, Julia: A Novel, Julius Caesar: A Novel, Medea the Witch, and Jason and Medea: A Novel.
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