Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 2009

Journal / Book Title

Studies in English Literature 1500-1900


This essay examines the theatrical legacy of Boadicea, the British warrior queen defeated by the Romans around 61 AD, in three plays: John Fletcher's "The Tragedy of Bonduca, or the British Heroine" and two unrelated dramas titled "Boadicea" by Charles Hopkins and Richard Glover. Performance histories attempt to explain why audiences respond to Boadicea with ambivalence. Each production underplays the defeated queen and gives starring roles to one or more of her daughters and a male lead, who contrast with Boadicea's supposed brutality and provide British audiences with lessons about ways to rule in an ostensibly civilized fashion.

Journal ISSN / Book ISBN


Published Citation

Nielsen, Wendy C. "Boadicea Onstage before 1800, a Theatrical and Colonial History." Studies in English Literature, 1500-1900 49, no. 3 (2009): 595-614.