Thursday, May 8, 2008

Queen Christina by Georgina Masson

Queen Christina of Sweden was one of the extraordinary personalities of seventeenth century Europe. The daughter of the hero King Gustavus Adolphus, champion of Protestant freedom, she made up her mind apparently in her late teens not only to abdicate the throne of Sweden as soon as she decently could, but also to convert to Catholicism and live at Rome into the bargain. Everyone was agog.

What a disappointment, then, that Georgina Masson's biography of her (1969) should be so dull. Perhaps Miss Masson was too assiduous in the collecting of all possible information, and the putting it into perfect, and perfectly dry, order, to remember to write a story. Not a horse moved his hoof in a single royal procession in Stockholm, but Miss Masson chronicled it. But where is Christina?

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