ISBN : 9780198816720
This book is a study of Queen Boudica's emergence in the popular historical narrative. It traces her reintroduction to Britain via the works of Tacitus and brings this story into the early part of the twentieth century, when the first historical film of the warrior queen's life propelled her into the modern age. Boudica's posthumous life is a long and complex one with a persistent popular appeal. Yet it is not only this that makes her history worth telling. Her reputation also sheds light on the way the British public has engaged with the past since the early modern period. It reveals how the stories we tell about the past appeal to us, not as dramatic inventions, but as truth. Thus this book tells two stories: that of Boudica as a heroine of British history, and that of the idea of historical truth itself.
Introduction: Queen Boudica and the Idea of Historical Culture
1 'Higher then to her no bookes doe reach': The Queen and the Antiquary
2 'They that write to all, must strive to please all': Historians, Playwrights, and the Drama of History, 1640-1700
3 'Poetry and fiction intermixt with our history': Druids, Patriots, and Critics in the Eighteenth Century
4 'Too strange to be popular': Negotiating Past and Present in Nineteenth-Century Historical Culture
5 'A great deal of historical claptrap': Heroine of Empire?
6 'That ubiquitous monarch': Finding Boudica from Wales to Essex