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Christina, Queen of Sweden: The Restless Life of a European Eccentric Paperback – September 27, 2005
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About the Author
Veronica Buckley was born in New Zealand. She studied in London and Oxford, where she did her postgraduate work on Christina Alexandra. She now lives in Paris with her husband, writer Philipp Blom. This is her first book.
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Top Customer Reviews
Of course, this didn’t happen. Most people are unfamiliar with Christina and that is why I read the book. Author Veronica Buckley has done an excellent job portraying the life of Christina. Many have criticized her approach to her subject, since it is evident in the book that the author doesn’t particularly care for Christina. Personally, I found this refreshing. I don’t think a biographer has to love or admire the focus of their work, but they must find them interesting. Christina was certainly a very interesting woman. As I read the book, I gave her my own appellation…rather than Christina the Great, or Christina the Terrible, I began to think of her as Christina the Dabbler. Provided with a fine education, Christina began to think of herself as an intellectual. Unfortunately, Christina could never stay with one subject long enough to master it. Her interests changed constantly and she longed for greater access to the great salons and museums of Paris and Rome. The cold and rugged conditions of Sweden definitely did not sit well with her plans. So in her mid-twenties, she abdicated the throne and converted to Catholicism.Read more ›
Christina was the daughter of a great Swedish King, Gustav Adolph the Great. She was intellectually gifted, spoke languages, conversed with great men of her day, and early on gained a reputation across Europe as a kind of enlightened ruler.
Her invitations to visit the Swedish Court were gladly accepted by Europe's famous figures, but the results often proved not so happy as might have been expected. One of the century's greatest intellects, Rene Descartes, made the trip, reluctantly at first but giving in finally to her blandishments, and died at her court. She kept the rooms cold and expected the great man to meet with her at dawn to discuss philosophy.
That event certainly was an early indicator of her rather bizarre personality. And so too, her behaviour after Descartes' death: she was full of superficial grief and vowed to build an impressive monument, but it was all forgotten shortly, a pattern of behaviour she repeated many times.
Christina proved an inept ruler, indeed she abdicated because she had no interest in the genuine work of ruling. She proved a person of less than shining ethics, a generally confused person, likely suffering from mental illness.
Christiana decided to become a Catholic, and her abdication of the throne of stoutly Protestant Sweden is closely associated with that fact. After carefully arranging matters like the succession and the revenues she would receive for the rest of her life, Christina travelled to Rome to meet and be welcomed by the Pope, who, naturally in view of the times - the Thirty Years' War from 1618 to 1648 - viewed her conversion as a victory for Catholicism.Read more ›
She became queen of Sweden as a child, but resigned from her job in her late 20s and left Sweden for Rome to pursue artistic, spiritual, and cultural interests in an urban Roman Catholic environment she found more supportive than Sweden's rigid and mostly rural Lutheran society. Abdicating a throne to pursue "personal interests" was almost unheard of.
The mysteries surrounding her began with her birth, when the midwives declared her to be a boy, only to discover that she was a girl. As a child, Christina looked female, but had mostly interests that were considered "male" in her era -- riding, hunting, weapons, military history, and Greek and Roman soldier heroes. She preferred wearing men's clothes. She was bisexual and openly fell in love with both women and men, causing immense scandal.
Her favorite companions were men who were "bad boys" -- dissolute adventurers who were soldiers and priests "gone wrong." Her other preferred companions were pretty and virtuous women. Once in Rome, she developed additional interests, converting to Catholicism and becoming a passionate art patron, while continuing to live a private life outside of the social and moral boundaries of her era.
In this entertaining and well-researched biography, Veronica Buckley explores Christina's adventurous life, both her victories and her defeats. Christina's wretched childhood and adult opposition to the status quo severely strained her emotional resources, leading to some dreadful tragedies and much self-centered behavior.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Can we say spoiled brat and/or crazy!
To put it mildly, Queen Christina was arrogant, spoiled, stupid, devious, and that was just her good points! Read more
Well-written and full of intimate details, this biography brings to life a queen like no other. Convinced of her own destiny and rightful power, Christina, even after abdication... Read morePublished on February 7, 2014 by Shannon Parks
I used the book for writing a Chatauqua-style, first person impersonation script. It was well written outlining the conflicted and unstable mental personality of a lost Queen. Read morePublished on July 16, 2013 by Amazon Customer
Ms Buckley has researched the Queen and portrays her in her conflicted state. As a genetic progeny of the Hapsburg dynasty, Christina demonstrates mental and personality... Read morePublished on July 16, 2013 by Amazon Customer