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.
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.
While Epona is based on a historical figure, Boudicca's daughters' names are not recorded in history. Fletcher came up with "Epona."
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.
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 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.
See: Poenius Postumus
Gaius Suetonius PaulinusEdit