These characters appear in William Shakespeare's play Boudicca, which was written between 1597 and 1958, and first performed in October 1598.

Literary CommentEdit

Harry Turtledove's version of Boudicca is based primarily on Bonduca, a 1613 play by Shakespeare's occasional co-author John Fletcher. It also incorporates passages from Henry VIII, Titus Andronicus and King John, also by Shakespeare, Christopher Marlowe's Tamburlaine the Great, and William Averell's An Exhortacion to all English Subjects. As the latter was written in prose, Turtledove took upon himself the task of setting those passages into iambic pentameter.


Bonvica, the younger daughter of Boudicca, drank poison together with her mother when the battle was lost, immediately after the suicide-by-jumping of Bonvica's sister Epona. Boudicca let her daughter have a greater dose so as to ensure death.[1]

Literary commentEdit

Boudicca's daughters are historical, but their names are unknown. Turtledove states in "Historical Note" that Fletcher did not give Bonduca's younger daughter a name, so Turtledove supplied one himself.[2]


See Boudicca (Ruled Britannia)


See Caratach


Decius was a Roman soldier. Edward played him on opening night, after the ill-fated Matthew Quinn had played Decius in rehearsals.[3]


Epona, the elder daughter of Boudicca, threw herself from a ledge rather than be captured by Suetonius.[4]

Literary commentEdit

While Epona is based on a historical figure, Boudicca's daughters' names are not recorded in history. Fletcher came up with "Epona."


Hengo was a nephew of General Caratach. He fought by his uncle's side in the anti-Roman uprising.

When Lord Burghley pointed out that there was no such character in the source material, William Shakespeare admitted this was so, and that he needed to create this character for a dramatic purpose. Peter Baker played Hengo on stage.[5]

Literary commentEdit

Hengo was created for Fletcher's play. In that version, he was shot to death by Judas (see "Marcus", below). This novel does not reveal what his fate was in Turtledove's version. See also Inconsistencies in Turtledove's Work#Inconsistencies in Ruled Britannia.


Marcus was a Roman soldier known for his sense of humour in the face of adversity. He was ultimately killed by Iceni general Caratach.

In the debut of Boudicca, Marcus was played by English clown Will Kemp.

Literary commentEdit

Marcus is based on the character Judas from Fletcher's play. Turtledove explains in the Ruled Britannia afterword that Shakespeare in the story would not have used the "unsubtle" name of Judas, so he changed it to Marcus, one of the most common names in the Roman Empire.

Poenius PostumusEdit

See: Poenius Postumus

Gaius Suetonius PaulinusEdit

See: Gaius Suetonius Paulinus (Ruled Britannia)


  1. Ruled Britannia, p. 366-373.
  2. Ibid., p. 457
  3. Ibid., pg. 307-310, 376.
  4. Ibid., p. 366-372.
  5. Ibid., p. 202, 280-281.