spacestationtrustfund's review against another edition
The foremost issue with the concept of a biography of Boudicea is that we simply do not have enough information about her. Like many other notable "enemies of Rome" (cf. Hannibal), the vast majority of sources are written by her Roman foes from the understandably biased Roman perspective. M.J. Trow has herein tried admirably to provide as comprehensive and balanced an account of Boudicea's life and legacy as is humanly possible, but there is simply not enough material to avoid conjecture. Consequently, in order to reconstruct a likely portrait of Boudicea, it becomes necessary to address the greater context, i.e., the history of Roman Britain, what is known about the relationship between the Roman occupiers and the various native Germanic tribes, the little information we have about the Iceni, and so on. Much like Hannibal, we can only study Boudicea through the eyes of those most interested in seeing her reputation utterly destroyed; Boudicea, however, had several additional factors working against her, not least of which was the fact that she was a woman. Where Trow's scholarship stands out is its treatment of archaeology as a tool to help reconstruct the past, and where it falls short is its reliance on guesswork. We do not even know what Boudicea looked like; attempting to write a full biography of her is ridiculous. An admirable effort nonetheless.