The classic study of women leaders in war by Antonia Fraser. In this book it's the stark tale of Boadicea's stand against the Romans that thrills and horrifies each generation.
In other books, the author Antonia Fraser examines an infinite variety of Warrior Queens, found in almost every culture. On the one hand she recounts the stories of such diverse national heroines as Zenobia of Palmyra, Isabella of Spain, Elizabeth I, Queen Jinga of Angola, Catherine the Great and the Rani of Jhansi, right up to the twentieth-century democratically-elected `Warrior Queens' - Indira Gandhi, Golda Meir and that formidable exponent of the role in our own day, Margaret Thatcher.
On the other hand she examines, in terms of their history, the themes which occur and re-occur in very different civilisations and circumstances: the Tomboy Syndrome, for example, by which the adult Warrior Queen is often granted a mythical `tomboy' past, or the Shame Syndrome, by which the courage of the Warrior Queen is contrasted with the weakness of the males around her. Sexuality is also a constant theme, as the Warrior Queen is sometimes seen as preternaturally chaste, sometimes as unnaturally voracious - the same female leader on occasion being the subject of both accusations.
Weaving her wealth of scholarship with lightness - and with characteristic humour - Antonia Fraser has produced a remarkable and original work which casts a new light on the familiar heroines of history, and the whole subject of female leadership in times of war.