Daughters of the Winter Queen
The thrilling family saga of five unforgettable women who remade EuropeFrom 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 fairy-tale 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.

Daughters of the Winter Queen Details

TitleDaughters of the Winter Queen
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseApr 10th, 2018
PublisherLittle, Brown and Company
ISBN-139780316387910
Rating
GenreHistory, Nonfiction, Biography, European Literature, British Literature

Daughters of the Winter Queen Review

  • Stephen Robert Collins
    January 1, 1970
    This the story of The Winter Queen the Queen for only one season -Winter.This starts with brutal beheading of Mary Queen of Scots who had here head chopped off. But first blow missed & chopped into her head then Bloody axe was pulled out & hit her neck but failed to chop it off so rather than pull It out he hacked at remaining flesh Until came off ,her lips were still moving when he lifted it up the head.But Mary got last laugh from beyond the grave her son James VI of Scotland United th This the story of The Winter Queen the Queen for only one season -Winter.This starts with brutal beheading of Mary Queen of Scots who had here head chopped off. But first blow missed & chopped into her head then Bloody axe was pulled out & hit her neck but failed to chop it off so rather than pull It out he hacked at remaining flesh Until came off ,her lips were still moving when he lifted it up the head.But Mary got last laugh from beyond the grave her son James VI of Scotland United the countries as James I of England changing religion with his Bible & his son Charles I drove England into civil war but the twist of royalty leads to The Winter Queen her daughters & right down to Victoria & are present day Queen .This filled with colour plates & b/w photos.James I was a cowardly man who had his first Homosexual affair at 13 with 30y man. He would spend days hunting & drinking he went on as if was all a game, he stunk because never washed ; he often when drunk gave big sloppy kisses to other men & used filthy swearing all the time. He was most unpopular with his government His son Charles (I) was sickly boy who all thought at six would die, he could not talk & had trouble walking.Elizabeth Stuart at 7 was given £1500 budget in 1603 just for food per year, she had 20 horses, small army of groomsmen, a Doctor, 3 ladies in waiting, cooks pastry chefs ,French maids,list goes on & on .This the little bits of history that you don't know or was not taught at school that makes this interesting .The only thing I know about Bohemia came from Irena Adler & Sherlock Holmes but the Winter Queen married the King of Bohemia thus making her related in a way to Adler.After The Prince of Wales Henry died of suspected typhoid few Months late Elizabeth marries Frederick then few years on he is elected to replace Ferdinand as King Frederick V but James I is mad about it. In the Forever. casting shadow of Emperor Ferdinand is Frederick V let down by the cowardly James I who would not even acknowledge him as King & anyone who did could be executed .All his promises turned to lies .Here we see why Ferdinand who was like a villain in a melodrama was so powerful. This full of twists & the first part deals with Elizabeth Stuart's father & his lies & how Frederick lost his kingdom because his soldiers were not payed & ran away while he sat eating lunch & during the fish course he lost.James is dead at 59 here comes King Greed Charles here comes a chopper .Frederick died in November 1632 undignified death he died of the plague. Then we move on to The second part moves onto the daughters .Sophia is the most important daughter who is the mother of George I & thus the Legacy of Mary Queen of Scots is made.Because The line of George lost what was then the colones & later became America thus explaining why Americans love to visit Scotland and to see where there grass roots started from .This why this so interesting because once again it's girl power not men who founded history & perhaps that's why we have Nancy Goldstone writing this book .But does also prove that goes away back to Richard III not having any children thus Henry VIII been King & so on. It's all about sex as Charles II had no children so who was useless him or her & Queen Elizabeth not marring so as title says The Legacy of MaryThe main colour plates shows the art work by Gerard Van Honthorst the Dutch artist who panted portraits & Religions paintings such as Adoration of the child .This is controversial painting The Triumph of the Winter Queen (which aplenty is in The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston USA) even today centuries after it was painted & that Honthorst could not have known we see Sophia as an angle with laurel wreath the symbol of peace a joke as King George III cause so little Pease braking up UK with America in Boston with the tea party yet that's were painting has ended up .HahahahaMary daughter of Charles I to William Prince of Orange fine but she was 9 & he was 14 !& that was legal paedophiliac but then know one cared .It was religion ,wars & money but nothing will save Charles Princess Elizabeth the oldest daughter was by far the most intelligent and way above lot of men in that period was friends with the Descartes the Philosopher & talked in letters about the mathematics of the soul that Nancy admits she does not get. This was way. above what you expect in 1642 .The King is deadThen in 1659 Louise Hollandine converted to Catholic & vanished into Abby of Maubuisson & finishes with return of the King Charles II .Then Winter Queen dies.And we move onto part three The Legacy.:Here we start with Princess Elizabeth going to be Abbess of Hereford & lot of Religions problems that's interesting & completed but have read it as too much to review or spoil but will say that the Labadists religion is lot like today's modern cults or 1960s hips drunk on free sex & wine. Because they were hated by local people we see the rise of new region The Quakers which very interesting as I live in one of biggest first Quaker towns Darlington who was involved with famous ship The Mayflower that helped colonise America. Princess Elizabeth was one meet With William Penn in 1677 her intention changed the laws & helped found The Society of Friends root movement in English way of life & gave us religious equality laws. She died in 1680.In The court of Louis XIV in Abbes of Maubuisson time we see Monsieur Duke of Orléans a dandy who would been more at home with Oscar Wilde then his wife a man who was cross between Liberate behide the Candelabra than Sleeping with his wife. An interesting person.Finally I come full circle from reason why I chose this book Edict of Nantes in the notes in the back of The Burning Chambers by Kate Moss this when Louis XIV canncled the law & the Huguenots an estimated 60,000 left & 50,000+ died in ghastly ways This was Louis XIV legacy tooSophia lived to her eighties. I am very picky when comes to Non -Fiction books I will read few TV or Movie Star books but as for historical it. has to be special ,few years ago I read one The History of Cricket, another on George III ,one KL history of Nazi camps & one Jack the Ripper. Often it's because something has inspired me to read a book such as an episode of the X-Files got me to read Moby Dick & this book was inspired by Kate Moss.
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  • Erin
    January 1, 1970
    3.75 stars Thanks to NetGalley for an advanced ebook in exchange for an honest review. If I am going to engage in reading some historical biography, nothing suits me better than when an author says I know you think you've heard it all, but what if I had you consider the people in the background and the role they played? Daughters of the Winter Queen takes a glance at the female descendants of Mary, Queen of Scots- particularly her granddaughter Elizabeth Stuart and her four great-grandaughters 3.75 stars Thanks to NetGalley for an advanced ebook in exchange for an honest review. If I am going to engage in reading some historical biography, nothing suits me better than when an author says I know you think you've heard it all, but what if I had you consider the people in the background and the role they played? Daughters of the Winter Queen takes a glance at the female descendants of Mary, Queen of Scots- particularly her granddaughter Elizabeth Stuart and her four great-grandaughters daughters- Elizabeth, Louise Holllandine, Heneritta Maria, and Sophia. The last of which helped solidify the House of Hannover 's permanent connection to the British Crown and all the monarchs that have claimed the throne right through to the present day. Extensive research intricately carved into a powerful narrative that, at times, held the gossipy atmosphere of the royal court, this book was pretty hard to put down and I did complete it in one sitting. As much as I was well versed in the history/politics/social climate of most of Western Europe in the 17th century, it was really great to dive into the lives and politics of countries like Germany, Poland, and Sweden. Highly recommend for any Tudor/Stuart/Hannover fan..
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  • Beata
    January 1, 1970
    Fascinating story of how descendants of James I returned to rule Great Britain after several generations. The book is easy to follow and as well written as The Rival Queens. Highly recommended to those who are interested in the Stuarts and want to learn why Hanovarians were given the right to reign on the British Isles.
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  • Caidyn (SEMI-HIATUS; BW Reviews; he/him/his)
    January 1, 1970
    This review and others can be found on BW Book Reviews.I received this ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review! This did not influence my opinion.I requested this ARC because this basically lines up with Tudor history. Mary Queen of Scots was a big name during that time, so I thought it would be interesting to read about her continued line. It’s something I’m vaguely familiar with, after all.The story really focused on her granddaughter, Elizabeth. She married the man who would later This review and others can be found on BW Book Reviews.I received this ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review! This did not influence my opinion.I requested this ARC because this basically lines up with Tudor history. Mary Queen of Scots was a big name during that time, so I thought it would be interesting to read about her continued line. It’s something I’m vaguely familiar with, after all.The story really focused on her granddaughter, Elizabeth. She married the man who would later become the King of Bohemia and had a lot of kids. Like 13. That’s a whole lot of kids. Four of the ones that lived to adulthood were girls. Elizabeth, Louise Hollandine, Henriette Marie, and Sophia were her four daughters, all of them impressive in their own right. Two never married and were abbesses, one died young, and the last lived to a ripe old age and almost became the next Queen of England, her son becoming George I.I learned a whole lot from it, as I usually say from nonfiction books. I found it fascinating, easy to follow, and fun to read. You don’t have to know much about the history of this time because Goldstone explains it as she writes. She goes into it assuming that you don’t know a whole lot, which worked for me since I didn’t know a whole lot. But I enjoyed making connections to what I knew. It was a whole lot of fun.Something that I didn’t like, though, was how the book is supposed to be about the daughters of Elizabeth of Bohemia, also known as the Winter Queen. But most of the book focused on Elizabeth herself. From her childhood and upbringing, through to her death. After she died, it talked about the daughters and focused on them. The focus of the book lacked in that way. While I found it interesting, it focused more on people other than her daughters, which was a shame since I felt that I got an abbreviated history of their lives in the end.That’s a minor thing, though. It didn’t take away from my enjoyment of the book, but it made me wonder when we would exactly get to them rather than getting context for their lives.
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  • Orsolya
    January 1, 1970
    Although most of the English history coverage on the bookshelves today tends to distinct the Tudor dynasty; the Stuart monarchs had their own share of drama and soap opera-esque flair beginning with Mary, Queen of Scots. This feisty bloodline continued with Elizabeth Stuart, the daughter of James I of England and his queen, Anne of Denmark. Known as the ‘Winter Queen’ for being queen of Bohemia and the Palatine for only one season (but retaining the title); Elizabeth had a fiery and notable spir Although most of the English history coverage on the bookshelves today tends to distinct the Tudor dynasty; the Stuart monarchs had their own share of drama and soap opera-esque flair beginning with Mary, Queen of Scots. This feisty bloodline continued with Elizabeth Stuart, the daughter of James I of England and his queen, Anne of Denmark. Known as the ‘Winter Queen’ for being queen of Bohemia and the Palatine for only one season (but retaining the title); Elizabeth had a fiery and notable spirit. The same can be said of her daughters, the princesses Elizabeth, Louisa, Henrietta Maria, and Sophia. Nancy Goldstone attempts to revive this channel of the Stuart line in, “Daughters of the Winter Queen: Four Remarkable Sisters, the Crown of Bohemia, and the Enduring Legacy of Mary, Queen of Scots. History-author Nancy Goldstone has an infallible habit of showcasing lesser-discussed women in history and creating dual biographies in order to highlight the interactions/gravitational pulls of the women and the roles they played. “Daughters of the Winter Queen” is no exception although it is more of a ‘quint-biography’ as it focuses on Elizabeth Stuart and her four daughters. “Daughters of the Winter Queen” opens with a brief background of Mary, Queen of Scots, her son James I, and the childhood of Elizabeth Stuart. This sets a solid background for the text meanwhile introducing Elizabeth to readers. After this, Goldstone proceeds to individually limelight each daughter per chapter and recap chronological highlights /events occurring at the same time. The problem with this is, in usual Goldstone style, that much of “Daughters of the Winter Queen” is off-topic. Goldstone is unapologetically heavy on the research and offers new information and angles that even familiar readers are unaware of both in the political and social Stuart realm. “Daughters of the Winter Queen” is certainly academic in this sense. However, the lives of the princesses, although the topic of the book, seem glossed over without ever revealing their psyches or truly bringing the women to life. Readers never actually get to know these figures and don’t walk away with a sense of the princesses.That being said, Goldstones flowery, descriptive, vivid, and detailed writing lends to entertaining text with a strong-paced history lesson of the period. I have remarked before that Goldstone would make an excellent historical-fiction author and I stick by this. Yet, “Daughters of the Winter Queen” does fall victim to some tedium and repetitive text that continually discusses politics. If you particularly seek this subject matter, then you are in luck!Goldstone occasionally peppers the text with a conversational tone and/or humor (this even includes the footnotes) which breaks up the scholarly heaviness but may cause those readers who seek a strict non-fiction approach to cringe.The second half of “Daughters of the Winter Queen” is noticeably more absorbing and dives deeper into the personal lives of the princesses revealing the inner intricacies. Goldstone find her flow and the material is more cumbersome (in a positive way) making “Daughters of the Winter Queen” a solid read after initial weaknesses.Goldstone’s angle in the final chapters of “Daughters of the Winter Queen” is heavy on the social relationship standings of the daughters which is quite a respite from the heavy political focus. Goldstone still manages to stray off topic and over-explain details; but this is more tolerable settled among the applicable text. Sadly, the conclusion of the death of the Queen of Bohemia is anticlimactic and doesn’t emote the response that is expected from “Daughters of the Winter Queen”.The concluding chapters of “Daughters of the Winter Queen” round up the lives of the princesses by providing a focal point on their adult lives and deaths post-decease of the Queen of Bohemia. This, along with the ‘Epilogue’ that circles back to the legacy of Mary, Queen of Scots; infuses the text with the finality it requires to be buttoned-up and have a solid beginning and end.Goldstone supplements “Daughters of the Winter Queen” with a section of photo color plates, Notes (although scarcely annotated), and a select Bibliography for further reading. “Daughters of the Winter Queen” is another effort by Goldstone to focus on lesser-known figures and their interactions with each other among a sea of strong fact and scholarly information. Although Goldstone frequently goes off-track and the daughters don’t come alive until the second half of the pages; Goldstone’s books increase with strength with each publication. “Daughters of the Winter Queen” is a pleasurable book as an introduction into the Stuart bloodline via the Queen of Bohemia and certainly, even with its flaws; is recommended for Stuart enthusiasts.
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  • Linda
    January 1, 1970
    How did the heirs of the youngest daughter of the Queen of Bohemia become the Hanoverian kings of England? This gossipy history of the daughters of Elizabeth, sister of the executed Charles I, reveals the inside story. In a time when women were seen as chattel to be traded for high status, Elisabeth, Louise Hollandine, Marie, and Sophia made their own decisions about their futures. Fast-paced and a bit snarky, this fun read embodies what I love about history.
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  • Jess
    January 1, 1970
    **I received an advanced reader’s copy of this title from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review**Goldstone examines the Queen of Bohemia, Elizabeth Stuart, and her four daughters in this captivating history. Much is known about King James I of England, his son Charles I, and the ensuing English civil war. Little is known (or written) about James’ daughter, Elizabeth, whose actions also cause a war. In turn, her daughters find themselves involved in conspiracies and tra **I received an advanced reader’s copy of this title from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review**Goldstone examines the Queen of Bohemia, Elizabeth Stuart, and her four daughters in this captivating history. Much is known about King James I of England, his son Charles I, and the ensuing English civil war. Little is known (or written) about James’ daughter, Elizabeth, whose actions also cause a war. In turn, her daughters find themselves involved in conspiracies and tragedies and undesirable circumstances. But, each, along with their mother, possess the courage and independence their ancestor, Mary, Queen of Scots, showcased throughout her tumultuous life. Thanks to Goldstone, the women’s stories come to life in an enthralling narrative. Peppered with witty and at times sarcastic one-liners, Goldstone shows how each woman and their interests and politics played a role in their current time, and how their influence can still be felt in contemporary times. Among the women’s stories, Goldstone also perfectly describes Europe’s atmosphere in the seventeenth century – the royal power plays, the wars, the customs, etc.I absolutely loved this book. It’s compelling. It’s hard to put down. At times, it reads more like fiction than nonfiction, given the crazy antics that some would do in order to gain political power. Ultimately, though, it gives voice to women who rarely are mentioned in histories. One would think that these women, especially Elizabeth Stuart, would be satisfied to know that all of the sacrifices made in their lifetimes helped their descendants remain on the English throne today. A must read for royal enthusiasts and/or those interested in women’s history. Five stars.
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  • Leah
    January 1, 1970
    Or maybe the sons...The Winter Queen of the title is Elizabeth, daughter of James VI of Scotland, later James I of England, and herself briefly Queen of Bohemia, through her marriage to Frederick, also known as the Palatinate. Elizabeth and Frederick produced an alarming number of children, the majority of whom lived into adulthood, and as their sons and daughters grew up and contracted marriages or made alliances, they spread their influence throughout the ruling families of 17th century Europe Or maybe the sons...The Winter Queen of the title is Elizabeth, daughter of James VI of Scotland, later James I of England, and herself briefly Queen of Bohemia, through her marriage to Frederick, also known as the Palatinate. Elizabeth and Frederick produced an alarming number of children, the majority of whom lived into adulthood, and as their sons and daughters grew up and contracted marriages or made alliances, they spread their influence throughout the ruling families of 17th century Europe, thus being involved in all the major events (aka wars) of that turbulent period. The book is ostensibly about the four daughters who survived their childhood years – Elizabeth, Louise Hollandine, Henrietta Maria, and Sophia.But in fact, the book is much more about the kings and sons than it is about queens and daughters. This is completely understandable since, at that period as in so much of history, women generally played a very small role in events, limited as often as not to being pawns in the diplomatic marriage market. There’s no doubt Elizabeth’s sons led much more interesting lives than her daughters, especially since only two of the girls married, and one of those died almost immediately afterwards. So I’m not complaining about the fact that Goldstone spent far more time with the men than the women – I’m merely pointing out that the title is a little misleading and the book may therefore set up false expectations in the prospective reader.Goldstone writes breezily, with a great deal of affection towards her subjects, and with a lot of humour. The history can sometimes feel a little superficial – she is trying to cover a lengthy and complicated period in a relatively compact book – but it’s fun, and the characterisation is great. I use the word ‘characterisation’ intentionally, because she tells her story almost as if she were writing a novel – a comedy of manners, perhaps, with the odd episode of tragedy thrown in to leaven it. I feel that all sounds a little dismissive, and I don’t mean it to be. There’s lots of history in here, clearly excellently researched, and the non-academic style makes it approachable and easily digestible. The book is a pleasure to read, which is not something that can always be said about history books!The first few chapters give a biography of Elizabeth (the Winter Queen) and then in the latter two-thirds or so of the book, Goldstone moves on to the daughters, rotating through them, giving them each a chapter in turn. So in total each daughter merits around four chapters. You can tell from this that we largely get a broad overview of their lives rather than the detailed minutiae that tends to appear in a single subject biography. Given the fact that in reality none of the women lived particularly exciting or historically significant lives, I felt this was plenty. But in fact, most of the chapters start with one of the daughters and then promptly swing away to her brother, husband, suitor or male friend. We follow a couple of the sons to England where they were involved in the events leading up to and following the execution of Charles I. Through Elizabeth, we spend some time in the company of her friend and teacher Descartes. Henrietta Maria married but then died too young to have much of a story to leave, poor thing. Through Louise, a skilled painter in her own right, we learn something about the artistic movements of the time. And through Sophia, the one who married and lived, we are taken into the politics of succession – the various manoeuvrings of those in power to gain territory through war, alliance and inheritance, again told mostly through the men’s stories.Along the way, Goldstone brings the characters, male and female, to life by including their own words from correspondence and journals and by telling anecdotes about them. This gives a great and, I assume, accurate feel for their different personalities, and Goldstone delves back into their childhoods to show how their early experiences helped to mould them into the women (or men) they became. On the whole, the daughters seemed to be a pragmatic bunch. The various religious shenanigans in Europe meant that there was a limited pool of suitable matches for impoverished Protestant princesses, so those who didn’t marry took religious orders – one converting to Catholicism to do so. Sophia was the one who interested me most, not only because her life as a daughter, wife and mother of powerful men meant that she was more involved in events, but because she loved to write and had a witty, acerbic style that gave a real feeling for her and for the people she somewhat wickedly observed.Overall, I enjoyed this book. That particular period of history is complicated by all the religious squabbling and ever-shifting allegiances so my eyes glazed over from time to time, but Goldstone does an excellent job of simplifying it and helping the reader through the maze. I thoroughly enjoy her writing style and would mention that her footnotes are not to be glossed over – often the best humour in the book is hidden in them. The book wasn’t quite what I was expecting, and the daughters weren’t as interesting as I’d hoped, on the whole, but there was plenty to keep me engaged in the stories of the sons, fathers and husbands. Next time though, I’d hope Goldstone could find women who were more interesting in their own right (as she did with Catherine de’ Medici and Marguerite de Valois in her previous book The Rival Queens) or not set up false expectations in her title. Not every book has to have a feminist angle, especially when there isn’t one, and The Children of the Winter Queen would have worked just as well, I feel. Recommended. 4½ stars for me, so rounded up.NB This book was provided for review by the publisher, Little, Brown Book Group.www.fictionfan.wordpress.com
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  • Deborah
    January 1, 1970
    Elizabeth Stuart, daughter of James I (and therefore granddaughter of Mary, Queen of Scots) was married to a lesser noble, Frederick, Elector of Palatine, with the promise that her father would support his efforts to win the crown of Bohemia. James--not exactly know for being fair and honest when it wasn't expedient--backed out of the promise, an act that sent Elizabeth and her family into exile and ultimately led to the devastating Thirty Years War. Despite the loss of his crown and the years o Elizabeth Stuart, daughter of James I (and therefore granddaughter of Mary, Queen of Scots) was married to a lesser noble, Frederick, Elector of Palatine, with the promise that her father would support his efforts to win the crown of Bohemia. James--not exactly know for being fair and honest when it wasn't expedient--backed out of the promise, an act that sent Elizabeth and her family into exile and ultimately led to the devastating Thirty Years War. Despite the loss of his crown and the years of political turmoil, Elizabeth and Frederick got along well; in fact, they produced 13 children, eight sons (two died young) and five daughters (one died at age three). Goldstone's book focuses on the couple's three surviving daughters, the youngest of which, Sophia, ended up named heiress presumptive to the British throne and launches the Hanoverian dynasty, thus fulfilling her grandmother's legacy. The eldest, Elizabeth, was known for her scholarship in languages, mathematics, history, geography, and the arts. She corresponded with and even challenged Rene Descartes, and later, as a Protestant Abbess, befriended William Penn. Both men dedicated books to her. Her sister Louise Hollandine was a talented portrait painter. She shocked her staunchly Calvinist family by fleeing to France and converting to Catholicism at the age of 39; she later took holy orders and also became an abbess. Henriette Marie married a brother of the Prince of Transylvania; sadly, she died of unknown causes at the age of 25, and her husband died only a few months later. Sophia wed the Elector or Hanover. When it appeared that neither William III, now widowed, nor the future queen Anne would produce heirs, Parliament enacted the Settlement of 1701, which required any ruler to be Protestant, making Sophia the heiress presumptive. It was her son Charles Louis who later took the throne of Great Britain as George I.Goldstone provides many details of life at court and in exile, of the daughters' education and quests for suitable spouses, and of the upheaval caused by the religious wars. Her research is meticulous and exhaustive. Overall, an intriguing look into the lives of four 17th-century royal women who struggles to survive and to find themselves.
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  • Katie
    January 1, 1970
    I didn’t know what to expect with this book and was pleasantly surprised. It’s one of the best biographies I’ve read in a long time (maybe ever?). First off, James I is boring as hell, so I’ve never had much of a reason to read about the years after Queen Elizabeth I. Quoting the prince of Orange: “he is a strange fellow that will neither fight for his children nor pray for them!”So I was shocked to find that James’ daughter, Elizabeth Stuart, was rad AF. Roughly of the book is dedicated specif I didn’t know what to expect with this book and was pleasantly surprised. It’s one of the best biographies I’ve read in a long time (maybe ever?). First off, James I is boring as hell, so I’ve never had much of a reason to read about the years after Queen Elizabeth I. Quoting the prince of Orange: “he is a strange fellow that will neither fight for his children nor pray for them!”So I was shocked to find that James’ daughter, Elizabeth Stuart, was rad AF. Roughly ⅓ of the book is dedicated specifically to Elizabeth, her brief time as the Queen of Bohemia, and the turmoil that led to her to exile in the Netherlands. Reading more about Germany before it was actually a unified “Germany” is something I’ve always wanted to do, and is a truly fascinating piece of this book. Amidst it all, Elizabeth also managed to have 13 children, all of whom are included here.The sheer number of children that Goldstone tries to follow is incredibly disorienting. Yes, we are grounded by the lives of Elizabeth’s four daughters (Elizabeth, Louise Hollandine, Henrietta Maria, and Sophia—which is already a lot), but we also find out what their siblings are up to along the way. It all comes full circle in the end when we see that Sophia’s son later becomes George I of England, but Mary, Queen of Scots being billed on the cover was a bit of a marketing ploy to me. There is already so much going on, I think the book would have been just as strong without her!Honestly, this was an amazing departure from the usual Tudor stuff I pick up and is one of the few nonfiction books I hope to re-read one day.See more of my reviews: Blog // Instagram
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  • Kate Eminhizer
    January 1, 1970
    I received an advanced reading copy of this publication from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.Nancy Goldstone is one of the few authors that actually makes reading non-fiction enjoyable! As with her other publications, this book was very readable. This book was very thorough in describing the life of Elizabeth Stuart, Queen of Bohemia, and that of her children. It did not focus on the seemingly inconsequential aspects of their lives but provided context for what they chose and why and I received an advanced reading copy of this publication from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.Nancy Goldstone is one of the few authors that actually makes reading non-fiction enjoyable! As with her other publications, this book was very readable. This book was very thorough in describing the life of Elizabeth Stuart, Queen of Bohemia, and that of her children. It did not focus on the seemingly inconsequential aspects of their lives but provided context for what they chose and why and how those decisions impacted the world. It was interesting to read more about the lesser known siblings of Sophia of Hanover. Although it was sometimes hard to understand the meaning of them, the inclusion of letters and memoirs of the family members made them more three dimensional and relatable.
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  • Mrs. Salgy
    January 1, 1970
    Nancy Goldstone’s “Daughters of the Winter Queen” takes on a relatively unknown part of Tudor/Stuart history and breathes new life into it! The Winter Queen, as Eluzabeth of Bohemia was known, was a granddaughter of Mary, Queen of Scots and named for Queen Elizabeth I—the woman who ordered Mary’s execution. Goldstone’s wealth of research and approachable writing style combine to make this an intriguing look at the woman whose descendants are on the English throne even today. An absolute must-rea Nancy Goldstone’s “Daughters of the Winter Queen” takes on a relatively unknown part of Tudor/Stuart history and breathes new life into it! The Winter Queen, as Eluzabeth of Bohemia was known, was a granddaughter of Mary, Queen of Scots and named for Queen Elizabeth I—the woman who ordered Mary’s execution. Goldstone’s wealth of research and approachable writing style combine to make this an intriguing look at the woman whose descendants are on the English throne even today. An absolute must-read for anyone who has an interest not only in British history, but for those who enjoy an absorbing and interesting tale of intrigue, romance, and war.
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  • Conny
    January 1, 1970
    I was a First Read Winner of this book and I really enjoyed it. To be honest I knew nothing about the Winter Queen and her four daughters and I was eager to learn about them and their struggles, it shed a much needed light on some very resilient woman. I was glad that there was a genealogy tree at the beginning of the book though, because I found myself referring to it quiet a lot and it helped with keeping the names and marriages straight. If you think it is hard to be a woman nowadays, you mus I was a First Read Winner of this book and I really enjoyed it. To be honest I knew nothing about the Winter Queen and her four daughters and I was eager to learn about them and their struggles, it shed a much needed light on some very resilient woman. I was glad that there was a genealogy tree at the beginning of the book though, because I found myself referring to it quiet a lot and it helped with keeping the names and marriages straight. If you think it is hard to be a woman nowadays, you must really read this book to see what the fairer sex had to endure then. I plan on reading the book again in the future just to help cement some of the facts.
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  • Louise
    January 1, 1970
    Nancy Goldstone profiles women who are not always well known. This book covers the Winter Queen, Elizabeth Stuart (granddaughter of Mary Queen of Scots through James I, VI ) and 4 of her daughters: Elizabeth, Henrietta, Louise and Sophia. Two sons, Rupert and Frederick, are featured, and one son, Edward has a cameo.James I’s marriage priorities were for his sons to unite his royal the family with those of Spain or France. A high profile protestant husband for his daughter Elizabeth could hamper Nancy Goldstone profiles women who are not always well known. This book covers the Winter Queen, Elizabeth Stuart (granddaughter of Mary Queen of Scots through James I, VI ) and 4 of her daughters: Elizabeth, Henrietta, Louise and Sophia. Two sons, Rupert and Frederick, are featured, and one son, Edward has a cameo.James I’s marriage priorities were for his sons to unite his royal the family with those of Spain or France. A high profile protestant husband for his daughter Elizabeth could hamper those negotiations. Frederick, a protestant, who had wealth but not royalty, would be low enough in profile to not interfere in James’s ambitions for his sons. When Bohemia overthrew its Catholic monarch, Frederick and Elizabeth seized the opportunity to have the throne. They were overthrown as quickly as they were crowned and so began what was almost a lifelong quest to raise armies to fight to get it back. Elizabeth’s father, James, still looking to France and Spain would not support their efforts and later Charles I could not. They lost their fortune, and Frederick’s life, attempting to recapture Bohemia.Goldstone follows this family as it lives on the largess of those monarchs who would support them. They set up a court (not clear what this was; it seems like a household) in The Hague. As resources dwindled and the status of Charles I, Elizabeth’s royal brother turned desperate, it became more and more difficult to obtain pensions and arrange marriages for the four daughters. A scandal made it worse. Some of the daughters fled to protect their reputations.The oldest daughter Elizabeth chose the life of the mind, studying with Rene Descartes and advising William Penn. Henrietta Maria, to ease the family budget accepted, a marriage far away into the royal family of Transylvania and died young. Louise Hollandine, a painter, chose a monastic life. After an unusual courtship, in a far from ideal marriage Sophia preserved the Stuart bloodline in the British monarchy (George I, her son) and in Prussia (Frederick I, her grandson and Frederick the Great her great grandson) and in Austria (Marie Antoinette, her great-great granddaughter).Son, Rupert fought to save his uncle’s (Charles I) hopeless cause in the English Civil War; Karl Ludwig chose negotiations over war and Edward, educated in France, went fully native - converting to Catholicism. Despite a few overly long portions (Descarte and Penn for example) the book is a good read. There were a few new things for me, such as Queen Henrietta’s role in her husband’s failed attack on Parliament and how George I was descended from the Stuarts. There was some description of the 30 years war and its resolution. There color plates and B & Ws show those profiled. The index worked and the genealogical chart is clear. There is a good map. "The Rival Queens" is hard to beat, but this may be Goldstone's best work (as her husband poses). Those with knowledge of the Stuarts will appreciate this well researched work.
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  • Joan
    January 1, 1970
    I found myself thinking at one rather long point that this book proves that American thought was better than European thought since the middle kids of this enormous family seemed to mostly prove that the rich women in the 1600s had nothing better to do with themselves than try to marry advantageously and if failing at that, go into religious houses. This reflection alone lost the book a few stars. Elizabeth of Behemia was a fascinating person. It is too bad she was married off to a somewhat weak I found myself thinking at one rather long point that this book proves that American thought was better than European thought since the middle kids of this enormous family seemed to mostly prove that the rich women in the 1600s had nothing better to do with themselves than try to marry advantageously and if failing at that, go into religious houses. This reflection alone lost the book a few stars. Elizabeth of Behemia was a fascinating person. It is too bad she was married off to a somewhat weak man whose position shaped the rest of her life and many of her kids' lives. 'It is too bad she wasn't married to Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden who matched her energy and ambition' opines the author and I would agree with her assessment. Her eldest daughter, Elizabeth (the beginning of names being reused far too frequently and unwisely!) was brilliant intellectually, to the point that even Descartes deeply admired her. Nonetheless, when she got older and realized that her mother's financial resources were really pinched, she ended up going into an abbey, as head of the institution, which was first deeply resented then finally accepted by the inmates who had had other plans for the next abbess. However, she continued a vigorous intelectual life. Another daughter, dealing with the same financial situation, took a similar route but ended up as abbess of a CATHOLIC institution in France! The author made her opinion about Louise clear when she condemned her for her cruelty and/or weakness in not opposing the French persecution of Huguenots which was pretty barbaric. One daughter died shortly after marriage to someone she didn't really want but of course, didn't get any opinion on. The fourth daughter was a vivacious woman named Sophia who achieved the pinnacle of the family's ambition by making it certain that her direct line of sons and grandsons ended up ruling England to current days. Actually, she herself might have become queen if she had only lived another 54 days or so! So the author did basically make her point, that several daughters were remarkable, for any time, let alone the time they lived in. Nonetheless, towards the end, the book became a rather confusing mishmash of similar names (too many Fredericks, Augustus and Georges for starters!). More detail might have helped. The end seemed to feel rather rushed. If the middle two sisters had had a little less space and that space given to the remarkable Sophia, I would have enjoyed this more. Recommended for Women's History or even just English history if people are curious how on earth Germans ended up ruling the British kingdom.
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  • Janta
    January 1, 1970
    A well-written book; the prose is engaging and accessible. My only criticism is that large sections of the book are not, in fact, about the daughters of the Winter Queen. The first third or so of the book is a discussion of the historical background. When the daughters finally make their appearances, there is a brief section on each of them and then the remainder of that chapter is largely given over to describing the actions of the *sons* of the Winter Queen. It is not until the final chapters A well-written book; the prose is engaging and accessible. My only criticism is that large sections of the book are not, in fact, about the daughters of the Winter Queen. The first third or so of the book is a discussion of the historical background. When the daughters finally make their appearances, there is a brief section on each of them and then the remainder of that chapter is largely given over to describing the actions of the *sons* of the Winter Queen. It is not until the final chapters of the book that the daughters come more into focus. I understand the reasoning -- the sons were off *doing* things, while the daughters were mostly just waiting around to be married off -- but it was still a little jarring.That said, this was still an entertaining and interesting read.
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  • Helen Carolan
    January 1, 1970
    This book was an interesting read. It charts the history of princess Elizabeth, sister of Charles I, who became the queen of Bohemia for a brief period and forever after was known as the 'winter queen'. It also details the lives of her four daughters and traces the line of the British monarchy to the present day. Her daughters had interest and sometimes tragic lives themselves. This was a terrific read.
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  • Carolyn Harris
    January 1, 1970
    An absorbing four generation family saga from the execution of Mary, Queen of Scots in 1587 to the accession of George I in 1714. Goldstone describes the reign of James I, the eventful life of his daughter, Queen Elizabeth of Bohemia, and the adventures of her thirteen children, including four gifted daughters. Elizabeth's youngest daughter, Sophia, actively campaigned for her family to be acknowledged as the senior line in the British succession and her son George I became the first monarch fro An absorbing four generation family saga from the execution of Mary, Queen of Scots in 1587 to the accession of George I in 1714. Goldstone describes the reign of James I, the eventful life of his daughter, Queen Elizabeth of Bohemia, and the adventures of her thirteen children, including four gifted daughters. Elizabeth's youngest daughter, Sophia, actively campaigned for her family to be acknowledged as the senior line in the British succession and her son George I became the first monarch from the House of Hanover. Goldstone draws interesting parallels between Mary, Queen of Scots, Elizabeth of Bohemia and Sophia of Hanover in their active promotion of their family's interests. In addition to their political significance, Elizabeth's daughters were part of the intellectual life of the seventeenth century. Princess Elizabeth, corresponded with Descartes, Louise Hollandine was an accomplished portrait artist and Sophia and her daughter supported the work of Leibniz. I would have been interested to have read more about these intellectual currents. For example, there are passing references to prestigious University of Heidelberg without mention of the scholarship taking place there at the time. Daughters of the Winter Queen is otherwise a fascinating joint biography about a fascinating family, who are the direct ancestors of Queen Elizabeth II.
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  • Ann Olszewski
    January 1, 1970
    A very engrossing and engaging history of two generations of Stuart princesses, who certainly shared many of the traits that made Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots, such a strong and fascinating woman. I knew next to nothing about Elizabeth, one-time Queen of Bohemia, and her daughter Sophia, the Electress of Hanover, so this history was revelatory to me. Sophia's direct descendants still sit on the British throne, so while Mary may have lost her head, her legacy continues to this day.I do think this A very engrossing and engaging history of two generations of Stuart princesses, who certainly shared many of the traits that made Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots, such a strong and fascinating woman. I knew next to nothing about Elizabeth, one-time Queen of Bohemia, and her daughter Sophia, the Electress of Hanover, so this history was revelatory to me. Sophia's direct descendants still sit on the British throne, so while Mary may have lost her head, her legacy continues to this day.I do think this book would have been better if it focused on just two of Elizabeth of Bohemia's daughters, Princess Elizabeth and Princess Sophia. Both were extremely well-educated and intellectual, and actually did have an impact on their age and the people with whom they came into contact. Elizabeth was very close with the philosopher Descartes, while Sophia's secretary was Leibniz. They more than held their own against these two incredible minds, and interacted with them as well-respected equals. The other two daughters, especially Henrietta Maria (who was pretty, fragile and destined for an early grave) are essentially filler to this story. I enthusiastically recommend this book to anyone interested in Stuart history and/or gender studies. The two Elizabeths and Sophia were women of their age, yet also ahead of their time, and they left an indelible mark on European history.
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  • David Dunlap
    January 1, 1970
    Elizabeth Stuart -- granddaughter of Mary, Queen of Scots and daughter to James I and his wife Anne of Denmark -- had thirteen children with her husband, Frederick V, Count/Elector Palatine. Goldstone writes of the lives of this historically prominent family, emphasizing (as the title suggests) those of the four daughters to reach maturity: the intellectually brilliant Elizabeth (who knowledgably corresponded with Descartes on matters mathematical and metaphysical), the artistically gifted Louis Elizabeth Stuart -- granddaughter of Mary, Queen of Scots and daughter to James I and his wife Anne of Denmark -- had thirteen children with her husband, Frederick V, Count/Elector Palatine. Goldstone writes of the lives of this historically prominent family, emphasizing (as the title suggests) those of the four daughters to reach maturity: the intellectually brilliant Elizabeth (who knowledgably corresponded with Descartes on matters mathematical and metaphysical), the artistically gifted Louisa Hollandine (who ended her life as the abbess at a Catholic convent in France), the beautiful but tragically short-lived Henrietta Maria (the only daughter to marry royalty), and the clever Sophia (who became Electress of Hanover and, had she lived an additional fifty-four days, would have become Queen of England [instead, the founding of the Hanover dynasty was to fall to her eldest son George Louis, who became George I]). The men of the family are hardly ignored: we read of Frederick's constant warfare to win -- then to win back -- the crown of Bohemia and to hold onto the Palatinate; the promising Prince Frederick Henry's sad death at age 15; the gallant Rupert's exploits in the English Civil War; Karl Ludwig's struggles to rebuild the Palatine -- and his unhappy marriage; etc. etc. -- Goldstone writes exceptionally well, clarifying complicated shifting alliances and balances of power (her use of a dance metaphor is most apt), and she brings the age to vivid life. -- I caught one error early on, however: the Earl of Bothwell was Mary, Queen of Scots's THIRD husband, and Goldstone occasionally employs a jarringly contemporary turn of phrase -- likening Frederick of the Palatine to a locally-owned coffee shop compared to the Starbucks of some of Elizabeth's other exalted suitors, for example. -- Special kudos to the person(s) responsible for the map of Northern Europe c1650 that appears toward the beginning of the book: with one or two exceptions, ALL the place names mentioned in the text are to be found on the map (although the location shown for Marston Moor -- site of a 1644 battle during the English Civil War -- is incorrect). The inclusion of color plates of the series of family portraits done by Gerrit von Honthorst (1592-1656), as well as three selected works by Louise Hollandine -- adds much to book. Wonderful historical reading! (The author speculates what might have happened had Anne of Denmark not blocked her daughter's engagement to Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden [Denmark's long rival in Scandinavia], since both the Swedish king and Elizabeth Stuart shared many of the same leadership skills and personality traits. -- For myself, I found myself wondering what sort of Queen of England the young -- and staunchly Protestant -- Elizabeth might have made, had the Gunpowder Plot of 1605 succeeded in killing her father and her two brothers...and what sort of Queen, at age 84 (!!), Sophia would have been as well... How might the course of European history been changed, had any one of these three events taken place? Ultimately, such "what if's" are the historian's parlor game, but it's fun to speculate anyway...)
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  • Shilpa Sudhakar
    January 1, 1970
    The story of a lesser known Elizabeth, daughter of James I, grand daughter of Mary, Queen of Scots, who was charged with treason and beheaded by her cousin, Elizabeth I. Elizabeth found herself Queen of Bohemia after her marriage only to lose the kingdom a few months later (hence known as the Winter Queen, having been in power for just one season). Despite being let down and betrayed by her own father, the King of England who refused to support her cause (and who seems not to have been intereste The story of a lesser known Elizabeth, daughter of James I, grand daughter of Mary, Queen of Scots, who was charged with treason and beheaded by her cousin, Elizabeth I. Elizabeth found herself Queen of Bohemia after her marriage only to lose the kingdom a few months later (hence known as the Winter Queen, having been in power for just one season). Despite being let down and betrayed by her own father, the King of England who refused to support her cause (and who seems not to have been interested in doing anything other than hunt) she brought a dogged determination and intelligence to the effort to regain the Bohemian crown, more so than her husband Frederick. It wasn’t to be, though, and the various political maneuvers, religious differences and “changing (political) dance partners” in 17th century Europe led to the Thirty Years War, a terrible time of carnage and destruction across the region. Elizabeth found herself in exile in Holland but remained relentless in her fight for her rights and those of her children. The book focuses eventually on Elizabeth’s four daughters who survived in to adulthood - the Princess Elizabeth, Louise Hollandine, Henrietta Maria and Sophia. She had thirteen children overall (or was it fourteen? Can’t keep track). My favorite was the oldest - Princess Elizabeth, the intellectual, who, living as she did in a family that had a title in name only with no access to their lands and very little money, chose to pursue her intellectual interests. Her friendship with Descartes and ability to go almost toe to toe with him on matters of philosophy and mathematics was fascinating to read about. These were accomplished women who faced much adversity in their lives, with very little control over their destiny, and their story was definitely worth a read.
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  • Patricia Romero
    January 1, 1970
    This is the story of Elizabeth who would marry a man who became the King of Bohemia. While she gave birth to 13 children these four girls were the only ones to make it to adults. The story focuses mainly on Elizabeth until her death when more about the daughters is revealed.Starting out in Scotland and England the author takes us to the palaces of Europe and is full of details on the wars, all the political messiness, love affairs doomed to fail,betrayals and murder even.The daughters were indiv This is the story of Elizabeth who would marry a man who became the King of Bohemia. While she gave birth to 13 children these four girls were the only ones to make it to adults. The story focuses mainly on Elizabeth until her death when more about the daughters is revealed.Starting out in Scotland and England the author takes us to the palaces of Europe and is full of details on the wars, all the political messiness, love affairs doomed to fail,betrayals and murder even.The daughters were individuals with unique talents. Elizabeth, the scholar, Louise was an artist, Sophia was a writer and Henrietta, well, she was a beauty. Two of the girls will become abbesses, heads of convents, never marrying. One sadly died young and the other went on to almost become the Queen of England, when her son became King George I.Goldstone tells this story with an ease that even a novice history reader will be able to understand. I would say the book is heavy on Elizabeth until she dies, so I would have liked to have seen more about the daughters. But this story of love, loss, tragedy and triumph was one I thouroughly enjoyed.I really enjoyed this book and if you are a Tudor lover, you must read this one!Netgalley/April 10th 2018 by Little, Brown and Company
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  • Darcysmom
    January 1, 1970
    I received an ARC of this book from Netgalley for free in exchange for an honest review.I started Daughters of the Winter Queen with high expectations, and I was not disappointed. I thoroughly enjoyed this well researched and highly accessible account of the Winter Queen and her four daughters.I enjoyed getting to know Elizabeth, Louise Hollandine, Henrietta Maria, and Sophia. Their lives provide an excellent backdrop to the geopolitical maneuvering of Europe during their lifetimes. The legacy o I received an ARC of this book from Netgalley for free in exchange for an honest review.I started Daughters of the Winter Queen with high expectations, and I was not disappointed. I thoroughly enjoyed this well researched and highly accessible account of the Winter Queen and her four daughters.I enjoyed getting to know Elizabeth, Louise Hollandine, Henrietta Maria, and Sophia. Their lives provide an excellent backdrop to the geopolitical maneuvering of Europe during their lifetimes. The legacy of these women is fascinating and enduring.Daughters of the Winter Queen is definitely worth reading.
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  • Lori
    January 1, 1970
    This is the story of the granddaughter of Mary Queen of Scots, her four daughters, and how they endured and impacted the world of their time. Nancy Goldstone has written a very well documented, and for the most part, very interesting account of their lives. I thoroughly enjoyed their story, they were impressive women. A tad dry at times, as many biographies are, but over all very well done, with some great insights. I will read more by this author! Many thanks to NetGalley and Little, Brown and This is the story of the granddaughter of Mary Queen of Scots, her four daughters, and how they endured and impacted the world of their time. Nancy Goldstone has written a very well documented, and for the most part, very interesting account of their lives. I thoroughly enjoyed their story, they were impressive women. A tad dry at times, as many biographies are, but over all very well done, with some great insights. I will read more by this author! Many thanks to NetGalley and Little, Brown and Co. for the e-arc!
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  • Amy
    January 1, 1970
    This book 👍🏻👍🏻I usually pick up a non fiction book because the subject matter interests me but then I abandon it 50 pages in because it’s too dry. But this book was definitely not that. The author uses a lot of humor to tell the story of the descendants of Mary Queen of Scots (my fav historical figure) to make their story read like an episode of General Hospital. And it really makes me thankful for antibiotics.
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  • Anne
    January 1, 1970
    Daughters of the Winter Queen brings to life these women. It transports you back and you are in the room experiencing history as it unfolds. Nancy Goldstone is a gifted writer and historian. I really enjoyed this book.
  • Kat Williamson
    January 1, 1970
    I throughly enjoyed this book. As a layman it was easy to read and kept my attention the whole time. By the expanse of the bibliography at the back I dare say it was well researched as well.
  • Pcox
    January 1, 1970
    The narrative reported the facts but didn't go below the surface to bring these ladies to life.
  • Megan
    January 1, 1970
    3.75 stars.On a family holiday to Germany and Austria last year, I was lucky enough to visit the castle of Heidelberg - which is still incredibly beautiful, even in its ruined state - and it was there that I first became acquainted with the story of Elizabeth Stuart, the Winter Queen of Bohemia (so titled because she and her husband only held the crown for a year). Unfortunately, there's not a lot of material on this remarkable woman, so when I discovered Goldstone's recently-published biography 3.75 stars.On a family holiday to Germany and Austria last year, I was lucky enough to visit the castle of Heidelberg - which is still incredibly beautiful, even in its ruined state - and it was there that I first became acquainted with the story of Elizabeth Stuart, the Winter Queen of Bohemia (so titled because she and her husband only held the crown for a year). Unfortunately, there's not a lot of material on this remarkable woman, so when I discovered Goldstone's recently-published biography, I jumped at the chance to read it.For the large part, it is an easy and informing read. The seventeenth century is an especially complicated era in European history - particularly when, like Elizabeth, you find yourself caught up in both the Thirty Years War and also the English Civil War, meaning that the politics and the number of important figures become especially numerous and at times, convoluted. This can also stem to include family members with the same - or highly similar - names, which in the lengthy period that Goldstone surveys in her text - are numerous and frequent. Goldstone recognises this, however, and does her best (sometimes with the aid of sarcastic and humorous footnotes at the bottom of the page) to provide clarity and avoid further confusion - especially when family members who share the same name but are of different generations are active within the same period. Not only that, but I now feel like I'm beginning to understand the Thirty Years War. Previously, I had no knowledge at all of it (besides that it went for thirty years and that it completely engulfed not only Germany, but also the rest of mainland Europe), and I'd never taken any classes on the period. Goldstone took the time to work through the reasoning and politics behind the war, and though it may have been simplified for the sake of space in the book (and also for the interest of the reader), I did come away feeling as though I'd gotten a good introduction to the conflict.I will say, however, that I believe the title to be misleading. Elizabeth Stuart was the granddaughter of Mary, Queen of Scots, although I feel as though Goldstone attempted to draw out the relationship too much and overplay the similarities. Realistically, Mary only figured in the very first chapter of the book, as well as receiving the obligatory few sentences in the epilogue, but I felt that the connections were limited and some what vague. The only 'legacy' that Mary seemed to be passing on was, indeed, the fact that Elizabeth and her children could trace their ancestry to her, and the infamous Queen of Scots really didn't appear to have much significance or clout within the text at all.As well as this, while most of the attention given to Elizabeth's thirteen children was given to her four daughters - Elizabeth, Louisa, Henrietta Maria and Sophia (through which the current ruling family of England is descended from) - her sons (including Prince Rupert, who was heavily involved in the English Civil War) also gain considerable attention, due to being embroiled in some way or another in the European politics of the time. As such, there are a lot of digressions and side-figures that appear in the chapters of the second half of the novel, dedicated in turn to each sister. A later chapter looking at the life of Louisa as a nun in France, for example, spends a considerable amount of time exploring the politics of the French court under Louis XIV, including the marriage of his brother Philippe, the Duke of Orleans, to Louisa's niece Elisabeth Charlotte, as well as the military expansion of France. Henrietta Maria also, unfortunately, died young, and so features very little within the book. While undoubtedly, some level of context and background information is necessary and useful, I don't think that the text can claim to be a sole biography of the Winter Queen and her daughters. Rather, it presents as more of a family biography, and, if anything, the legacy that the reader is left with is not that of Mary, Queen of Scots, but that of Elizabeth Stuart - a formidable and resilient woman. Though she may have led a life-long struggle for recognition of her royal position during her lifetime, it was ultimately, a later recognition of her royalty and lineage that ensured her grandchildren's ascent to the English throne and establishment of a long-lasting dynasty that still continues to this day.
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  • Becky - Pug and Books
    January 1, 1970
    Daughters of the Winter Queen: Four Remarkable Sisters, the Crown of Bohemia, and the Enduring Legacy of Mary, Queen of Scots by Nancy GoldstoneStar rating: ★★★☆ ☆ 3/5 starsFormat: library eaudiobookSummary: This book follows Elizabeth Stuart, granddaughter of Mary, Queen of Scots and her four daughters. Review: For being about these four sisters I really expected the book to focus way more than it does on them. I felt like most of this book was dedicated to discussing what was going on in Engla Daughters of the Winter Queen: Four Remarkable Sisters, the Crown of Bohemia, and the Enduring Legacy of Mary, Queen of Scots by Nancy GoldstoneStar rating: ★★★☆ ☆ 3/5 starsFormat: library eaudiobookSummary: This book follows Elizabeth Stuart, granddaughter of Mary, Queen of Scots and her four daughters. Review: For being about these four sisters I really expected the book to focus way more than it does on them. I felt like most of this book was dedicated to discussing what was going on in England than anything else. While I love reading about English history, that's not why I picked this book up. I understand that they wanted to set the scene for what else was going on and likely since they are women there isn't much information on them from this period but if you don't have enough on the subjects of your book maybe you need to reconsider what subject you want to write on. It was hard to keep track of who was who because everyone seemed to have the same names. This isn't really the fault of the author, they make a quip that this era is so confusing due to this but I do feel they could have done more to help their readers to keep track. I did find there was a decent amount of humor within the writing. It was amusing and not a dry book by any means. The author was able to hold my attention for the book. It can be hard to write a good history book and still be able to add a splash of humor to the book, so I do appreciate that. As far as history nonfiction books go, it's pretty good. It effectively holds the reader's attention without sounding as though they're not serious. It doesn't have a textbook sort of feel to it, which is always nice when reading historical nonfiction. As I said, my only real complaint is that it hardly focuses on the four daughters at all. Recommendation: If, like me, you're looking for a book that focuses on the five woman as the title claims then I would skip this book.
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