75%

The New International Encyclopædia/Christina (Sweden)

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search

CHRISTINA (1626-89). Queen of Sweden from 1632 to 1654. She was the daughter of the great Gustavus Adolphus, and was born December 18, 1626. She became Queen after the death of her father in the battle of Lützen, in 1632. Till 1644 she reigned under a regency headed by the Chancellor Oxenstierna. Distinguished by the possession of a lively imagination, a good memory, uncommon intelligence, and remarkable aptitude for serious' study, she received the education of a man rather than that of a woman, and to this may in part be attributed the many eccentricities of her life. Her subjects and counselors earnestly desired her to marry, but the Queen's restless spirit would accept no such bond. In 1649 she had her cousin, Charles Gustavus (see Charles X.), declared her successor by the Estates of the realm. Her reign was notable for the patronage of learning and science; but the Queen was too eccentric and cared too little for politics to give that force to the administration which the position of Sweden in Europe at that time, and its own lively internal politics, required. In 1654 Christina voluntarily abdicated in favor of her cousin, reserving to herself sufficient revenues, her entire independence, and supreme authority over her suite and household. She embraced Roman Catholicism, and afterwards resided chiefly in Rome and in France, gathering about her a court of brilliant and learned men, and spending much time in literary and scientific pursuits. She covered herself with infamy by the murder in 1657 at Fontainebleau of her grand equerry and favorite, Monaldeschi. After the death of Charles Gustavus in 1660, Christina repaired to Sweden and began to intrigue for the recovery of her throne; but her subjects cut short her pretensions by forcing her to sign another formal act of abdication. She died April 19, 1689. Consult: Geyer, Geschichte Schwedens, Vol. III. (Hamburg, 1836); Archenholtz, Vie de Christine par elle-même (Stockholm, 1751); Bain, Christina, Queen of Sweden (London, 1889).