Just finished the incredible “Daughters of the Winter Queen: Four Remarkable Sisters, the Crown of Bohemia, and the Enduring Legacy of Mary, Queen of Scots” by Nancy Goldstone.
The book details the remarkable life of Elizabeth Stuart, Queen of Bohemia (1596-1662). Elizabeth was the daughter of James I and granddaughter of Mary, Queen of Scots.
Elizabeth was also the grandmother of King George I. Since the accession of George I in 1714, Elizabeth has been the ancestress of every British Monarch. The current British Monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, is her great-granddaughter X9.
But this book doesn’t just detail Elizabeth’s life. It discusses the lives of her four remarkable daughters;
Princess Elizabeth (1618-80), who counted the philosopher René Descartes as her closest friend. Louisa (1622-1709), a gifted artist, whose lively manner would provoke heartache and scandal. Henrietta Maria (1626-51), the beauty of the family, would achieve the dynastic ambition of marrying into royalty, although at great cost. And the youngest, Sophia (1630-1714), a heroine in the tradition of Jane Austen, with a ready wit and strength of character, who would fulfil the promise of her great-grandmother Mary, Queen of Scots, a legacy which endures to this day.
I decided to read this book after reading two excellent novels in which Elizabeth features (“The King’s Witch” and “The Devil’s Slave” by Tracy Borman). This book has not only given me a further insight into the life of Elizabeth herself, but also into the life of 17th/early 18th Century Europe and the entwined lives of European Royalty. A brilliant assessment, easy to read and a great start for those new to the Stuart dynasty, Civil War, Restoration, Glorious Revolution and the 1701 Act of Settlement.