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Veronica Buckley

Christina Queen Of Sweden

Christina Queen Of Sweden

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The groundbreaking biography of one of the most progressive; influential and entertaining women of the seventeenth century; Christina Alexandra; Queen of Sweden. In 1654; to the astonishment and dismay of her court; Christina Alexandra announced her abdication in favour of her cousin; Charles. Instrumental in bringing the Thirty Years War to a close at the age of 22; Christina had become one of the most powerful monarchs in Europe. She had also become notorious for her extravagant lifestyle. Leaving the narrow confines of her homeland behind her; Christina cut a remarkable path across Europe. She acted as mediator in the Franco-Spanish War and; in return for financial support; was received into the Roman Catholic Church despite the fierce condemnation of her protestant countrymen. Christina settled in Rome at the luxurious Palazzo Farnese where she established a lavish salon for Rome's artists and intellectuals. More than once she was forced to leave Rome while one scandal or another died down; she was painted a lesbian; a prostitute and even a hermaphrodite. Her most impassioned affair was with a well-connected Cardinal. Later; when financial support from the Pope and the Spanish crown dried up; Christina began to court French favour; eventually even plotting with them to overthrow the Spanish at Naples; where she hoped to be installed as queen. Despite her political vacillations and a lifelong refusal to restrain her appetites; Christina ended her days in Rome relatively free from disfavour and financial strife. At the express order of the Pope; she was buried; with full ceremony; in the walls of St Peter's Basilica; one of only two women to be so honoured. Reminiscent of Amanda Foreman's Georgiana; Duchess of Devonshire and Claire Tomalin's Jane Austen: A Life; Buckley combines a personal approach with a lively interest in the social and historical world of seventeenth-century Europe to bring this remarkable personality to life.







HarperCollins Publishers


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