Lakshmi Bar, the Rani of Jhansi, is one of India’s national heroines. Raised in a household of boys, she was fearless and brilliant as a military strategist. When her husband died, she came out of purdah to fight the British, becoming a key figure extraordinaire who trained women for her army. These women came to be known as the “amazons of Jhansi.” Lakshmi herself was famous for calmly taunting enemy generals, “Do your worst, I will make you a woman.” Her fame spread like wildfire throughout India, making her their national shero when she broke through an encircling ambush of British soldiers during battle and fled a hundred miles on horseback in just twenty-four hours with a ten-year-old boy clinging to her back. She and the boy were the only two survivors of the slaughtered Indian troops. It should also be noted that Lakshmi was in full armor in sweltering 120 degree heat. She died on the battlefield in Gwalior when she was barely thirty; a British general called her the “greatest hero” he’d ever known.