Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Christina, Queen of Sweden, the daughter of Gustavus Adolphus and Mary Eleanor of Brandenourg, was born in 1626, and came to the throne six years later, her father having fallen at Lutzen. Her father had already begun to fit her for her position by giving her a masculine education, and this plan was adhered to by her aunt Catherine and the chancellor, Axel Oxenstiern. Though slightly deformed in one shoulder, exceedingly spare and wiry, and below middle stature, her face was, perhaps, attractive; she excelled in manly exercises, often wearing male attire; and she mastered an immense amount of general knowledge, besides Greek, Latin, and several modern languages. There can be little doubt, however, that her mind was warped by insanity. Still, on first assuming power in 1644 she displayed firmness, moderation, and wisdom. She brought the war with Denmark to an advantageous conclusion; she terminated the Thirty Years' war by the peace of Westphalia; she devoted much attention to commerce and education; and she filled her court with learned men, such as Descartes, Grotius, Salmasius, and Vossius. Gradually, under the influence of foreign advisers, especially her French physician, Bourdelot, her conduct changed. She became recklessly extravagant, and refusing all offers of marriage, she indulged her passions and her vanity in the society of favourites, on whom were showered honours and rewards. She estranged herself from Lutheranism, and grew to dislike the homely simplicity of the North. In 1649 she formally named her cousin, Charles Gustavus, as her successor, and in 1654, when the discontent of her subjects showed itself in the revolt of Messenius, she definitely resigned the crown. In a man's dress, with a handsome income and considerable retinue, she now set out on her travels, and after passing through Denmark and Germany, and spending a year at Brussels, she went to Rome, and was received into the Church by the Pope. In 1656 she visited France and was well received, but returning next year met with a much colder welcome. On her condemning to death her favourite, Monaldeschi, and causing him to be privately executed in her own apartments, she was expelled from French territory. On the death of her cousin in 1660 she claimed the Swedish crown, but her subjects refused to listen to her. In 1666 she made another fruitless attempt to regain her position. The last twenty years of her life were spent in Rome, where she divided her energies between petty intrigues and the collection of works of art. At her death in 1689 many of her treasures were bought by Pope Alexander VII., Odescalchi and the Duke of Orleans.