No other figure evokes the shadowy world of Iron Age England like Boudica, Queen of the Iceni; she `left her indelible signature on the landscape of Britain in the form of a layer of charred, red earth in Roman Britain's largest three settlements, which she burned to the ground' with a fire of such intensity that `it could melt glass back into a liquid and cook the clay of the buildings into the rock-hard ceramic bones of death'. More than that, she became a part of the British psyche and `the epitome of the nationalist or Celtic patriot'. It is with this formidable reputation in mind, that Vanessa Collingridge embarks on her personal investigation into Boudica's driving impulses, her actions as head of a people and an army, and the fear that Romans (in Britain and in Rome) felt for her. Above all this is an exploration of what happened when the old world met the new. In accessible and immediate prose Collingridge uses ancient sources, with their combination of propaganda, suspicion and awe, and archaeology to examine the impact of Rome on Boudica's Britain, the relationships of Britain's numerous kings with Rome, and the extent to which Romanisation was welcomed (or not). Throughout the book, numerous conversations with archaeologists and historians are recounted word for word. This is not a controversial study; despite the brutality of Boudica's world, the queen is celebrated in this book which seems to suggest that the history of the real Boudica has become of secondary importance to her symbolic role as the nationalist, feminist heroine of popular culture.
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This is Vanessa Collingridge's second book. Her first, Captain Cook, was described as 'Extremely engaging,' Sunday Times, and 'Lively and ambitious,' Spectator. Having studied Geography at Oxford, Vanessa became a writer and broadcaster for the Telegraph, Radio 4, and ITV's Tonight. During 2004 she will present a two-day live astrological watch with Adam Hart-Davies on BBC1, a series on Scottish history for STV/Grampian and will be one of Alan Titchmarsh's co-presenters in a major new BBC TV series The Natural History of Britain.Review:
"'I am fighting as an ordinary person for my lost freedom, my brulsed body and outraged daughters.' Tacitus account of the Boudican revolt"
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Book Description Ebury Press, 2005. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110091898196