Rani Lakshmi Bai (1835 - 1858), was the queen of Jhansi and a leader of the Sepoy Mutiny of 1857. Brought up in the family of Peshwa Baji Rao II along with her childhood friends Nana Sahib and Tantya Tope, Laxmi Bai married the Maharaja of Jhansi, Gangadhar Rao Newalkar in 1842.
Although she was widowed early with no heir to the throne, Laxmi Bai and the Maharaja had adopted a boy just before his death. However, the British government in India led by the then Governor General Lord Dalhousie refused to recognize the heir to the throne and annexed Jhansi shortly after. The young queen refused to give up her kingdom to the foreigners and put up a brave fight against the British. Although she died in the battlefield, her struggle became a symbol of protest against the British Raj in India.
Read this book on the life of the Rani of Jhansi.