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Daughters of the Winter Queen: Four Remarkable Sisters, the Crown of Bohemia, and the Enduring Legacy of Mary, Queen of Scots

Daughters of the Winter Queen: Four Remarkable Sisters, the Crown of Bohemia, and the Enduring Legacy of Mary, Queen of Scots

by Nancy Goldstone


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The thrilling family saga of five unforgettable women who remade Europe.

From the great courts, glittering palaces, and war-ravaged battlefields of the seventeenth century comes the story of four spirited sisters and their glamorous mother, Elizabeth Stuart, granddaughter of the martyred Mary, Queen of Scots.

Upon her father's ascension to the illustrious throne of England, Elizabeth Stuart was suddenly thrust from the poverty of unruly Scotland into the fairytale existence of a princess of great wealth and splendor. When she was married at sixteen to a German count far below her rank, it was with the understanding that her father would help her husband achieve the kingship of Bohemia. The terrible betrayal of this commitment would ruin "the Winter Queen," as Elizabeth would forever be known, imperil the lives of those she loved and launch a war that would last for thirty years.

Forced into exile, the Winter Queen and her family found refuge in Holland, where the glorious art and culture of the Dutch Golden Age indelibly shaped her daughters' lives. Her eldest, Princess Elizabeth, became a scholar who earned the respect and friendship of the philosopher René Descartes. Louisa was a gifted painter whose engaging manner and appealing looks provoked heartache and scandal. Beautiful Henrietta Maria would be the only sister to marry into royalty, although at great cost. But it was the youngest, Sophia, a heroine in the tradition of a Jane Austen novel, whose ready wit and good-natured common sense masked immense strength of character, who fulfilled the promise of her great-grandmother Mary and reshaped the British monarchy, a legacy that endures to this day.

Brilliantly researched and captivatingly written, filled with danger, treachery, and adventure but also love, courage, and humor, Daughters of the Winter Queen follows the lives of five remarkable women who, by refusing to surrender to adversity, changed the course of history.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316387897
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication date: 01/22/2019
Pages: 496
Sales rank: 183,666
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.60(d)

About the Author

Nancy Goldstone is the author of five previous books including The Rival Queens: Catherine de' Medici, Her Daughter Marguerite de Valois, and the Betrayal that Ignited a Kingdom; The Maid and the Queen: The Secret History of Joan of Arc; Four Queens: The Provençal Sisters Who Ruled Europe; and The Lady Queen: The Notorious Reign of Joanna I, Queen of Naples, Jerusalem, and Sicily. She has also coauthored six books with her husband, Lawrence Goldstone. She lives in Sagaponack, New York.

Table of Contents

Map xii-xiii

Selected Genealogy of the Stuart Family xiv-xv

Introduction 3

Part I The Winter Queen, Granddaughter of Mary, Queen of Scots Elizabeth Stuart

1 A King's Daughter 11

2 (An Almost) Royal Wedding 30

3 Goodwife Palsgrave 52

4 Queen of Bohemia 70

5 The Winter Queen 88

6 Queen of Hearts 108

Part II The Daughters of the Winter Queen: Princess Elizabeth Louise Hollandine Henrietta Maria Sophia

7 A Royal Refugee 137

8 Child of Light and Dark 149

9 Lilies and Roses 163

10 A Royal Education 177

11 The Visiting Philosopher 195

12 A Scandal in Bohemia 219

13 Honor and Duty 235

14 Royal Sense and Sensibility 259

15 A Lesson on the Passions 271

16 A Desperate Plan 287

17 The Electress, Two Dukes, and the Lady-in-Waiting 311

Part III The Legacy of Mary, Queen of Scots

18 Abbess of Herford 341

19 Abbess of Maubuisson 363

20 A Scandal in Hanover 389

21 The Triumph of the Winter Queen 419

Epilogue 431

Acknowledgments 433

Notes 437

Selected Bibliography 461

Illustration Credits 469

Index 471

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