The book starts with a submission to The OMPHALOS – a computer programme designed to calculate what would happen in the event of a historical figure straying from their path of Destiny, or not being born at all – It is a typo from The Barnstaple Gazette calling Boudicca the Queen of the Ancient Grits.
THE OMPHALOS REPORT appears in full containing the following sections: **1. A POTTED HISTORY OF BOUDICCA
Boudicca is born in Norfolk with striking red hair. She is instantly taken to the industrial arbitration council in the hope mitigation will leave her with just straightforward red hair.
Boudicca meets Prasutagus while out shopping in King’s Lynn. It is love at first sight. A match made in heaven (unlike the matches Boudicca will later favour which are made in Bootle by Swan Vesta).
In Anglesey, the Druid Council, the religious branch of the Celts, hatch a secret plan to disrespect the Roman gods imposed upon them by peeing on their statues. But the Romans discover the plan through a leak. The Roman Governor in Britain, Gaius Suetonius Paulinus, takes a crack legion to eliminate the Druids in their Anglesey stronghold. Roman soldiers are issued with an instruction to kill anyone in a white garment with a hood. For this reason, Millicent Treesagurus decides to postpone her wedding to Bugsy Racketus, the top gangster in the whole of Wessex.
The emperor Nero hears of Boudicca’s destruction of Roman settlements by fire and immediately demands two things:
- That Boudicca’s name be removed from the list of those chosen to carry the Olympic torch when it is next in Britain.
- That he be given advance warning if Boudicca ever intends to visit Rome, so he will have enough time to buy a fiddle.
**2. BOUDICCA’S CV
**3. IF BOUDICCA HAD AN AGENT
Memo to Boudicca from Comet Bros Showbiz Agents, AD 60.
Can I request that you hold fire on the wholesale destruction of Verulamium you have planned as there is a good chance that I can get you a booking as the star turn in the panto there this coming festive season. The location would be the town theatre and I’m sure it would be one of the first places to be reduced to rubble when you set upon Verulamium.
I am close to securing you the lead role in Aladdin six nights a week and one mid-week matinee for a five week period over Christmas and the New Year. There will be a lot of jokes regarding your recent activities that should bring the house down, metaphorically of course, before you do raise it to the ground. A couple of examples:
Aladdin (You, Boudicca) rubs lamp and Widow Twankey will say ‘Don’t rub istol hard you might start a fire!’ Then, later, you almost knock over an oil lamp but you catch it just in time before it hits the ground. ‘Phew,’ you say, wiping your brow, ‘that’s how Londinium bit the dust!’
So please hold fire on the destruction of Verulamium until the panto season is over.
Yours In Showbiz
**4. PUSHING BOUDICCA OUT OF THE PICTURE
Detailing events that could’ve happened to thwart Boudicca and shove her out of the historical picture.
- A crack Roman legion isn’t sent to Anglesey to destroy the Druids as instead a compromise is reached between the two factions. The Druids agree to respect the Romans and their Gods in return for a half hour slot at the gladiatorial games each Sunday.
- A team of heir hunters discover that their are relatives of Prasutagus who have a better claim to be the beneficiaries of his will than Boudicca.
- The Iceni become a conscientious tribe and encourage their members to take courses in First Aid. Thus Prasutagus doesn’t die as he is revived by CPR. This strengthens his position compared to being dead as it now appears that he has returned from the dead. When asked by leading Iceni what the afterlife is like Prasutagus says that there weresweet smelling people wearing laurels, plenty of sex, fresh running water and luxurious surroundings. His clansmen become disgruntled as it sounds like the Romans have taken over there as well.
**5. BOUDICCA OPTS FOR SECOND BEST
Boudicca chooses a different career path involving her next favourite option. Working with her beloved hares as a hare-whisperer.
**6. BOUDICCA DOES SOMETHING SIMILAR INSTEAD
An examination of Boudicca as Queen of the Ancient Writs, Queen of the Ancient Grits and also as a Worrier Queen.
Extracts from Boudicca Worrier Queen:
● Boudicca objects to the proposal to cut off the breasts of noble Roman women and sew them into their mouths. She fears it could jeopardize her invite to be guest speaker at the Women’s Institute annual conference.
● Boudicca puts her planned sacking and conflagration of Londinium on hold as she is behind with her Christmas shopping.
**6. BOUDICCA DOES THE OPPOSITE
Instead of becoming a wholesale destructor of property, Boudicca becomes a building preservation retailer.
**7. BOUDICCA IN THE 21ST CENTURY
How she would conduct herself if she was around in the present day instead of nearly 2,000 years ago.
Boudicca on Social Media
Boudicca tweeted this 48m ago:
Anyone into model making? I’ve thousands upon thousands of unused matches.
Boudicca @Boudicca 100,000 followers
**8. BOUDICCA SCALED DOWN
Boudicca reduces the scale of her destruction.
**9. LIFE WITHOUT BOUDICCA
How different history and life would be if there was no Boudicca at all.
Queen Victoria chooses a different name
When Queen Victoria came to the throne in 1837, she opted not to be called by her first name, Alexandrina, but by her second name Victoria as it held etymological links to the Ancient word Boudicca, meaning ‘victory’. Without Boudicca, Queen Victoria would’ve had to adopt an entirely different name, thus, Victorians and the lustre we ascribe to them would never have graced the history books replaced by perhaps:
Marthans named after Queen Martha 1837-1901
Marthans would be viewed as Martians with a speech impediment. Marthans would differ greatly from Victorians in their choice of hobbies. The Victorian middle-class were fond of painting, making brooches and gardening. The Marthan, however, would give vent to their creative side by making crop circles.
Patricians named after Queen Patricia 1837-1901
Patricians, aka Aristocrats, would cause all sorts of problems to British mid- to-late-19th century society. Much of Victorian wealth derived from exploiting the impoverished proletariat. In a land where everyone was a Patrician there would be no lower classes to mine. Maternity clinics would be situated at the top of steep hills or near the summit of mountains so that every Patrician could prove they were of high birth.
Avians named after Queen Ava 1837-1901
Avians would, of course, adopt birdlike traits. Successful Victorians were politically right-wing. Avians would be in the middle, between the right and left wing. Furthermore, if Britain was at war the Avians would collaborate with the enemy, anathema to a Victorian, as the Avian would enjoy the prospect of reprisals in the form of being tarred and feathered.
**10. BOUDICCA REINCARNATED
The possibility that after her death Boudicca regrets not having accomplished the things she seemed destined to do is explored here along with how she endeavours to redress this through reincarnation.
To make up for not having cut off the breasts of noble Roman women and sew them into their mouths during revolts that no longer occur and thus she doesn’t lead, Boudicca is reincarnated in 1944 as a girl with an artistic bent. In the wimps she is in the vanguard of a new movement called ‘Anatomical Abstract Art’.
To compensate for not becoming Queen of the Iceni, in AD 90 Boudicca is reincarnated as a Queen Bee in a hive of buzzer near Harrogate. She thus becomes Queen of the I Sting ‘e.
**11. BOUDICCA COMMEMORATED
How memorials to Boudicca would have to be reinterpreted in a world she no longer plays a role I forging.
The final third of the book involves sending appropriate holograms back to Boudicca’s time to encourage her to take the path history designed for her to ensure that the wholesale disruption to the lives of countless succeeding generations that The Omphalos forecasts does not occur. The hologram chosen for this important mission is of the Victorian Music Hall entertainer Dan Leno with the French mime artiste and film comedian Jacques Tati and the notorious England Bodyline cricket captain Douglas Jardine in reserve.
BOUDICCA MARKED ABSENT
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