Turtledove
Advertisement
Boudicca's daughters
Boudiccasdaughters.jpg
Historical Figure
Nationality: Iceni
Date of Birth: 1st century
Date of Death: Possibly 61 CE
Religion: Polytheism
Occupation: Princesses
Parents: Prasutagus and Boudicca
Fictional Appearances:
Ruled Britannia
POD: July-August, 1588
Type of Appearance: Posthumous references (as "Epona and Bonvica")
Cause of Death: Suicide by jumping (Epona), suicide by poison (Bonvica)
Relatives: Caratach (uncle), Hengo (cousin)

Tacitus and other Roman sources report that Queen Boudicca of the Iceni had two daughters, whose names remain unknown. It is generally agreed that their rape by Roman soldiers was one of the events that spurred the Iceni people into open revolt. Popular tradition has the daughters accompanying their mother into battle and dying beside her. Lesser-known traditions have one or both of the daughters being sent away before the battle to a remote British region, beyond Roman reach.

Boudicca's Daughters in Ruled Britannia[]

For his 1598 play Boudicca, William Shakespeare fictionalised the title character's daughters with the names Epona and Bonvica. In the play, the sisters accompanied their mother into the battle against the Romans. When it became apparent that their cause was lost, Epona threw herself from a ledge rather than be captured by Suetonius. Bonvica then chose to drink poison with her mother, who let her daughter have a greater dose so as to ensure a quicker death.[1]

Literary comment[]

The name Epona for the older daughter comes from John Fletcher's play Bonduca. Fletcher left the younger daughter unnamed, so Harry Turtledove chose Bonvica himself.[2]

References[]

  1. Ruled Britannia, p. 366-373.
  2. Ibid., p. 457.
Advertisement