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The *Other* British Warrior Queen

Whimsical image of a classical painting, but the woman has tattoos and a crown

If you’re an Anglophile (lover of the English) like me, you’ve probably heard of Boudica, the warrior queen who took on the Romans.

But did you know there’s another British warrior queen with an equally fascinating tale?

Around the 8th century, Viking raiders were taking over regions of England left and right. Alfred the Great dreamed of not only of fighting them off, but uniting England under one king. Sadly, he died before seeing his dream come true.

Alfred’s daughter, Aethelflaed, leaped onto my radar in The Last Kingdom (available on Netflix, though very violent, so don’t watch unless you have a parent’s permission).

I loved Aethelflaed’s storyline (from season 2) so much, I couldn’t help but Google what happened to her later! Obviously not everything from the show is true, but later in life, she went on to do extraordinary things.

Aethelflaed took on the Vikings, negotiating with them when possible and fighting them when it wasn’t. She was a shrewd tactician, and knew exactly which roads and river passages to attack to make the battle as swift as possible. It got to the point where her enemies (the freaking Vikings) would surrender without a fight!

Learn more about this amazing woman in episode 71 of the Vocabbett podcast! And here’s a fun video accompaniment to the podcast:

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