Warrior Queen – Oxford University Press

A retelling of the Boudicca uprising in 61AD from the perspective of an Iceni father and daughter. No one wins, no one is a hero; least of all the awe-inspiring queen herself.

These are some of the character portraits at the front of the book.

Graphite

Honestly, doing this project made the Boudicca story very real for me. Being from the part of Britain the Iceni ruled over – East Anglia – I felt an actual sense of personal tragedy in Boudicca’s story. What we know of her is solely from Roman records, so while we have no idea how old she actually was, it’s very likely true that she and her daughters were raped and beaten by Roman troops when she took the Iceni throne after her husband, the previous king, died. Because the Romans likely bragged of it.

With her army in the tens of thousands, few of whom were actually warriors, she was able to wreak havoc against Roman towns and cities; slaughtering populations of Roman and acquiescent Briton alike. To know her was to fear her. To not join her was to be terrified by her.

Whilst most of the Roman troops were in Anglesey, systematically destroying druidic culture and the very oak forests that nurtured it, Boudicca brought the Roman occupation to the brink of collapse. However, Suetonius Paulinus, the Roman general overseeing the British campaign, swiftly turned his army back to the east, and cut down Boudicca’s mob without mercy. It’s doubtful that it will ever be known exactly how Boudicca died.

British Celtic culture was eradicated. Suetonius still has a statue in Bath.

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