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Boudica

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Rowan
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Post by Rowan » Fri February 6th, 2009, 3:40 pm

[quote=""juleswatson""]How nice. I used to have the naive idea - and I'm sure many writers on this forum would agree it's naive- that if someone else "did" a topic it was off limits. But so many of us are hovering around a limited pool of historical figures and stories that there is always overlap. Especially with the Celts, there are not many known figures or known stories (which is kind of why I made my first trilogy up, story-wise) That's probably a whole other thread, though. Margaret's page mentioned a lot of novels I did not know, so you could at last be back in Roman Britain, if not with Boudicca herself.[/quote]


Is it really naiveté if it's part of the learning process of being a writer and how things "work"? I'm sure we all start out with that belief, but as we learn, our beliefs change.

Not to hijack the thread, but I personally would also like to see fiction about Cartimandua, one of Boudica's contemporaries. A friend of mine is apparently descended from her and he got a little miffed when I told him how much I enjoyed Boudica's story, indicating she wasn't the only female ruler of the time. Soooo Jules perhaps you can dig in that direction?
:D

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juleswatson
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Post by juleswatson » Fri February 6th, 2009, 3:50 pm

[quote=""Rowan""]
Not to hijack the thread, but I personally would also like to see fiction about Cartimandua, one of Boudica's contemporaries. A friend of mine is apparently descended from her and he got a little miffed when I told him how much I enjoyed Boudica's story, indicating she wasn't the only female ruler of the time. Soooo Jules perhaps you can dig in that direction?
:D [/quote]

Hmmm... fascinating story, but the hero / heroine would have to be someone else, as Cartimandua is not sympathetic at all - a Roman ally, who betrayed her own people. On the other hand, she ditches her husband and shacks up with her spearman. Gotta love that :cool:
Author of Celtic historical fantasy
New book "THE RAVEN QUEEN" out Feb 22 2011: The story of Maeve, the famous warrior queen of Irish mythology.
Out now, "THE SWAN MAIDEN", the ancient tale of Deirdre, the Irish 'Helen of Troy'
http://www.juleswatson.com

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Post by Carla » Fri February 6th, 2009, 4:23 pm

One challenge would be to make Cartimandua sympathetic and show why she acted as she did. If I ever get tempted out of the early medieval period and into Roman Britain, I'd like to have a go at that.
PATHS OF EXILE - love, war, honour and betrayal in Anglo-Saxon Northumbria
Editor's Choice, Historical Novels Review, August 2009
Now available as e-book on Amazon Kindleand in Kindle, Epub (Nook, Sony Reader), Palm and other formats on Smashwords
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Post by annis » Fri February 6th, 2009, 5:22 pm

Posted by Jules
"Anya Seton, The Mistletoe and the Sword (1955), historical romance/adventure about a young standard-bearer for Rome's Ninth Legion and a foster daughter of Boudica."
I got excited when I came across this a few years back, but was rather disappointed when I read it. It's a quite dated historical romance (of the old fashioned sort) which appears to have been aimed at the YA market. For those interested in the period, I'd say that it will probably be more of curiosity value.

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Rowan
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Post by Rowan » Fri February 6th, 2009, 6:55 pm

[quote=""juleswatson""]Hmmm... fascinating story, but the hero / heroine would have to be someone else, as Cartimandua is not sympathetic at all - a Roman ally, who betrayed her own people. On the other hand, she ditches her husband and shacks up with her spearman. Gotta love that :cool: [/quote]


What Carla said. :p

Besides... so many people who don't know much about the history of that time period view Celts and all others of that time period as barbarians. I personally view the Romans as much more barbaric than the Britons, but that's only my opinion. History in general views Romans in a favourable light. So I'm sure there are just as many people who view Cartimandua as doing what she had to do in order for her people to survive as there are who take a dim view of her actions.
Last edited by Rowan on Fri February 6th, 2009, 7:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by annis » Fri February 6th, 2009, 10:07 pm

Have you ever read Terry Jones' "Barbarians: An Alternative Roman History"? It's an interesting and typically irreverent twist on how our perception of so called barbarian peoples has been influenced over the centuries by Roman propaganda.
It was also a 4 part BBC TV series- not sure whether series or book came first.

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Post by Carla » Fri February 6th, 2009, 10:18 pm

[quote=""annis""]Have you ever read Terry Jones' "Barbarians: An Alternative Roman History"? It's an interesting and typically irreverent twist on how our perception of so called barbarian peoples has been influenced over the centuries by Roman propaganda.
It was also a 4 part BBC TV series- not sure whether series or book came first.[/quote]

Both in parallel, I think. The BBC knows a thing or two about free publicity for its publishing arm :-)

I haven't read the book. The series was a hoot, and had some interesting things to say about so-called barbarians, as well as the jokes. Though I think he may have gone a bit too far to the opposite extreme at times. Romans Bad, Barbarians Good is just as daft as Romans Good, Barbarians Bad. It's nice to see both points of view, but the truth is probably somewhere in the middle as usual. There are two sides to every war, as they say (I always think of the "What have the Romans ever done for us?" scene in Life of Brian).
PATHS OF EXILE - love, war, honour and betrayal in Anglo-Saxon Northumbria
Editor's Choice, Historical Novels Review, August 2009
Now available as e-book on Amazon Kindleand in Kindle, Epub (Nook, Sony Reader), Palm and other formats on Smashwords
Website: http://www.carlanayland.org
Blog: http://carlanayland.blogspot.com

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Margaret
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Post by Margaret » Sat February 7th, 2009, 5:34 am

I personally would also like to see fiction about Cartimandua, one of Boudica's contemporaries.
I think Cartimandua is fascinating. She'd make a great antagonist in a novel about Caratacus, who was also quite fascinating, and all the better if she were portrayed in a way that made her sympathetic to at least some degree. Boudica and her husband initially supported Rome, just as Cartimandua did, very likely because Rome had benefited some British tribes (including Boudica's Iceni) through the thriving cross-Channel trade before the conquest. It was by no means foolish to weigh the pros and cons of accepting Roman rule with its many advantages vs. defying the greatest military power in the world. Cartimandua may have seen the handwriting on the wall and believed that betraying Caratacus was a lesser evil than allowing the war between Britain and Rome to continue, given what probably appeared to her as the inevitability of Rome's eventual victory.
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Post by juleswatson » Sat February 7th, 2009, 9:05 am

All that is true, both about Cartimandua and barbarians. I wasn't talking about logic, though! I have always been passionate about the Celts, and though of course nothing is black and white, for fiction purposes we do choose heroes, goodies and baddies. My goodies have always been Celts, and I am with Carla there about barbarism. The fact is, we actually know comparatively little about the Celts, and most of it through a Roman lens. We have also (me included) romanticized the Celts to a great degree. No one knows the "truth" - all I know is how I chose to create a good story. It would be a great, and therefore exciting challenge to make Cartimandua sympathetic. It would be an original idea. Yes, because of the history between the British tribes and the Romans, there are lots of ways for it to make perfect sense to do what she did. She was trying to preserve herself and her tribe. But compromise and good sense is rarely as exciting for fiction as rebellion :D Go Carla, you are obviously relishing the idea of the challenge!
Author of Celtic historical fantasy
New book "THE RAVEN QUEEN" out Feb 22 2011: The story of Maeve, the famous warrior queen of Irish mythology.
Out now, "THE SWAN MAIDEN", the ancient tale of Deirdre, the Irish 'Helen of Troy'
http://www.juleswatson.com

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Post by Ludmilla » Sat February 7th, 2009, 1:24 pm

[quote=""Margaret""]I think Cartimandua is fascinating. She'd make a great antagonist in a novel about Caratacus, who was also quite fascinating, and all the better if she were portrayed in a way that made her sympathetic to at least some degree. [/quote]

That would make a great story, Margaret. Caratacus must have been charismatic and the Romans seemed to have respected him as an enemy (or that's been my impression).

In Claudius the God, Robert Graves has Claudius trying to persuade his son Britannicus to leave Rome and bide his time with Cartimandua. Obviously, Britannicus didn't go, but it would make an interesting alternate history, what if, type of story.

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