Boadicea's Chariot: The Warrior Queens Hardcover – 13 Oct 1988
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"The Warrior Queens is lore-packed...and fascinating to read....Fraser has assembled a remarkable group of women for our contemplation....They have outmaneuvered, outtalked, outblustered, and in some cases outshot and outridden the cream of the crop.... Fraser is to be congratulated for rescuing them from their own myths and for giving them their due as individuals." -- Margaret Atwood, Los Angeles Times Book Review "Fascinating...it is a pleasure to encounter the kind of quick and lively mind that informs every page...the bright and steady pilot light of Antonia Fraser's intelligence." -- The New York Times Book Review "Antonia Fraser's The Warrior Queens is an intelligent and artful study of women rulers who commanded in battle.... Ms. Fraser at once clarifies history and suggests the many ways that myths betray history.... She holds our attention and she misses nothing." -- The New Yorker "Lady Antonia catches fire.... There is humor. There is lots of fascinating detail on the sexual mythology that has surrounded most women rulers. There is real insight into how women wield power.... There is a pleasure in having the stories of so many remarkable women gathered in one place." -- Chicago Sun-Times "Cleopatra, Zenobia, Tamara, Jinga Mbandi of Angola, Catherine the Great and Caterina Sforza, England's two Matildas and Tuscany's one, the beautiful Queen Louise of Prussia and Queen Elizabeth I of England, the names roll on as these women led their countries into victory and defeat.... Fraser, always a diligent historian, has... become a graceful writer and achieved the formidable task of winding a variety of women and countries onto one skein." -- Cleveland Plain-Dealer"From the Trade Paperback edition. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Hardback reissue of a classic study of women leaders in war - part of THE SIX LIVES OF ANTONIA FRASER promotion --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
The catch, unfortunately, is a couple of quite difficult chapters to introduce the book. The concept of the duality of a female leader as a real figure signified by 'Boudica' and the creature of legend 'Boadicea' is clever and sustained convincingly throughout the book, it's unfortunate that the exposition of the theory is such heavy going. Boadicea, for me anyway, is one of the least interesting figures in the book. Largely, I guess from the familarlity of her legend and the stage on which it was played.
That aside, the book is full of fascinating detail about a whole range of figures from varied historical periods and from across the world. Personal favourites of mine are Tamara of Georgia and Zenobia.
The various chapters are all linked by the theory that such "warrior queens" have a lot in common with each other when it comes to their contemporaries' and posterity's treatment of them. Fraser uses the figure of Boadicea, to whose life and legend she returns in each chapter, to provide this link.
Although I felt it didn't really work, I respected the author's attempt to synthesise the material with some overarching theories on the nature of female rule. However, the terminology she uses to describe the characteristics of warrior queens (such as appendage syndrome, voracity syndrome, "only a weak woman" syndrome) seemed a little forced at times. Moreover her spurious distinction between "Boudica" to describe the historical Queen of the Iceni and "Boadicea" to describe the legendary figure which lives on in literature and the popular conciousness, was a little annoying.
At two places in the book Fraser stated things that were factually incorrect. The first instance of this was on p. 224 she writes that Miguel, the Portugese prince who could have united Iberia into one kingdom had he survived infancy, was the son of Isabella I's daughter Maria. In fact he was the son of Isabella's eldest daughter, Isabella. Secondly, on p. 279 she states that Tsarina Elizabeth of Russia was Catherine the Great's mother-in-law.Read more ›
This is likely a book to dip into rather than read all the way through. I will go back and finish in smaller doses - as I really want to read about Queen Jinga of Angola just not so enough that I am prepared to wade through whatever is between where I stopped and where that chapter starts.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I was a bit disappointed there was not as much information about Boudica herselfPublished 17 months ago by Yvonne Mayer