Review: What Would Boudicca Do? by E. Foley and B. Coates

Blurb: Modern life can be troublesome. There is only so much mansplaining, body shaming, playing ‘nice’ and being underestimated that a girl can take. In What Would Boudicca Do? we turn to the most celebrated women from history for advice; those sisters who were pioneers in science, politics, the arts and generally getting stuff done. With Boudicca as inspiration, sticking up for yourself gets that much easier, just as channelling Dorothy Parker’s wit and defiance will see you right in times of heartache. The fifty remarkable, gutsy women within are sometimes flawed but always fabulous – we can learn so much from them to conquer the everyday challenges of life today.


Title: What Would Boudicca Do?

Author: E. Foley and B. Coates

Illustrator: Bijou Karman

Publisher: Faber & Faber

Genre: Non-Fiction, Historical, Feminism, Essays



Ever needed a bit of a pep talk from someone who’s been through exactly what you’re going through? This book is exactly that! Draw on the experiences of some of history’s most fabulous women and find comfort in their successes.

If you’re a bit of a history buff, or even just someone looking to know more about historical figures, I’d definitely recommend this book to you. The writing style is comedic and fun, using colloquial language and jokes to connect with the reader which, in my view, really succeeds in making history more accessible. I also loved that there was a range of women in this book – those of all ethnicities, sexual orientations and classes – which really drives home the point that we are all able to experience success despite the hardships we face. These essays also range across a number of subjects, offering words of advice to readers no matter what they have experienced themselves. From standing up for yourself to getting over FOMO, there’s something for everyone.

I also want to note that the illustrations in this book, one of each historical figure that’s mentioned, are beautiful! They demonstrate these women in such a wonderful light, showing them off at their most powerful.

As for what I disliked, there’s not a huge amount of information on these figures included in the essays. Now, this could be great for you if you don’t like wading through facts to get to the exciting bits but personally, I would have loved to know more about these women in more than just three pages. Now, I know that there are always opportunities for us as readers to do further reading on topics that interest us but for the sake of convenience, I would have likes more info here.

Overall, I would definitely recommend this book to everyone! Whether this starts as a jumping off point for you to research these historical figures more or acts as a pick-me-up read in those low moments, this book is full of joy and a powerful feeling of being able to do anything!


Rating: 4/5

Recommend?: Yes!

Have you read this book? Or maybe you’ve read something similar? What did you think? Iโ€™d love to know!

You can always find me over on Instagram and Twitter if youโ€™d like to discuss this book (or any others that Iโ€™ve featured) in more detail ๐Ÿ˜Œ

4 thoughts on “Review: What Would Boudicca Do? by E. Foley and B. Coates

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