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Boadicea's Chariot: The Warrior Queens Hardcover – 13 Oct 1988

3.8 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Hardcover, 13 Oct 1988
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 383 pages
  • Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson; First Edition edition (13 Oct. 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0297794868
  • ISBN-13: 978-0297794868
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 16.5 x 3.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,070,551 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"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.

Book Description

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.

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3.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is a fascinating book, which brings to life a whole range of great female leaders - rescuing several from insulting obscurity.
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.
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Format: Paperback
This book gives a fairly entertaining account of the lives of some little known women in history (such as Tomyris of the Massagetai, Zenobia of Palmyra, Matilda of Tuscany, Queen Jinga of Angola and Queen Louise of Prussia) on whom there is perhaps not enough material to warrant full biographies. Fraser also deals with better known figures such as Elizabeth I, Isabella of Spain and Margaret Thatcher.

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.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I enjoy Antonia Fraser books but I'm afraid this one did not hold my attention like others have, too much jumping about, even during the stories of just one person. I am an avid history reading but lost interest several times. However please don't let this put you off, it is still a book worth getting.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Started well and trailed off - really enjoyed the Boudica at the start, Queen Zenobia was okay, Matilda... just didn't work for me and I gave up half way through that chapter.
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.
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