BOUDICCA


THOMAS THORNCROFT
1902
BRONZE
HOUSE OF COMMONS, LONDON


"Let us show them that they are hares and foxes trying to rule over dogs and wolves." - Boudicca addressing BOUDICCA AND HER DAUGHTERS IN A CHARIOT her troops, as told by the Greek historian Dio Cassius

For the general public, this statue depicting the Celtic warrior-goddess standing atop a war chariot led by two rearing horses serves as a symbol of Roman Britain. Over the past five centuries, however, the reputation of this Celtic heroine has taken several turns. The figure of Boudicca served as a means of propaganda under the monarchy of Elizabeth I, as well as the nemesis of anti-feminism movements of today.

Under the reign of Elizabeth I, Boudicca was praised as a fellow queen and patriot from a common heritage which fought gloriously against invaders of her country. Among the Elizabethans in general, a greater historical consciousness of the past was evolving. Looking back to the age of imperialism in the later half of the 1800ís, one can see the British becoming increasingly aware of their growing wealth; which in turn led to a look backwards at the glories of the nationís past. Due to this revival of interest in past feats, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert commissioned this colossal statue in the late 1800ís. Due to the enormous size of the work, both the sculptor and the prince died before its completion, leaving behind plaster casts. Finally, in 1902 funds became available to finish the project, which was then erected in front of the House of Commons in London. While the statue is meant to stir ardent patriotism in the hearts of the British, archaeologists have since denounced the work as a poor representation of the Celts. They consistently point at the chariots bulk as an erroneous depiction since it is now known that the chariots of these warriors were, in fact, made of light wicker.

 

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