Cover image for Daughters of the Winter Queen : four remarkable sisters, the crown of Bohemia, and the enduring legacy of Mary, Queen of Scots / Nancy Goldstone.
Daughters of the Winter Queen : four remarkable sisters, the crown of Bohemia, and the enduring legacy of Mary, Queen of Scots / Nancy Goldstone.
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York, NY : Little, Brown and Company, 2018.

Physical Description:
viii, 480 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (some color), map, portraits, chart, genealogical table ; 25 cm
Selected genealogy of the Stuart family -- Elizabeth Stuart, the Winter Queen, granddaughter of Mary, Queen of Scots -- The daughters of the Winter Queen: Princess Elizabeth, Louise Hollandine, Henrietta Maria, and Sophia -- The legacy of Mary, Queen of Scots.
Documents how a betrayed Elizabeth Stuart, the daughter of James I, raised her four daughters in exile during the Dutch Golden Age, tracing how their stories shaped a three-decade war and fulfilled the promises of their great-grandmother, Mary Queen of Scots.


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
943.7023092 GOL Book Adult General Collection

On Order



The thrilling family saga of five unforgettable women who remade Europe

From 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.

Author Notes

Nancy Goldstone is the author of five previous books including The Rival Queens: Catherine de' Medici, Her Daughter Marguerite de Valois, and the Betrayal that Ignited a Kingdom; The Maid and the Queen: The Secret History of Joan of Arc; Four Queens: The Provençal Sisters Who Ruled Europe; and The Lady Queen: The Notorious Reign of Joanna I, Queen of Naples, Jerusalem, and Sicily. She has also coauthored six books with her husband, Lawrence Goldstone. She lives in Sagaponack, New York.

Reviews 3

Publisher's Weekly Review

"It is simply not possible to fully understand the seventeenth century in all of its exuberant, glorious complexity without this family," proclaims Goldstone (The Rival Queens) of Elizabeth Stuart (1596-1662), daughter of James I of England, and her children. This lively, well-researched group biography focuses as much on the mother as on her more famous daughters. Elizabeth's marriage to Frederick, Elector Palatine-a powerful count, but still far below her in rank-was very happy but plagued by political disasters; for nearly 30 years, Elizabeth toiled to reclaim his territory for her children. Among those children were the daughters whose stories Goldstone tells: Princess Elizabeth, an intellectual equal to and intimate correspondent of Descartes, who eventually became abbess of a Protestant convent; Louisa, a talented painter, who converted to Catholicism before also becoming an abbess; Henrietta Maria, who died shortly after marriage; and Sophia, a spirited matriarch, who finally restored the family fortunes when her eldest son became King George I of England. Goldstone occasionally overreaches, making somewhat unlikely sweeping claims (for example, that the fearlessness and persistence of Elizabeth and her daughters was necessarily due to their descent from Mary, Queen of Scots), but clearly presents a captivating story with empathy and humor in a relaxed, entertaining, modern voice. B&w plates. (Apr.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

New York Review of Books Review

FORCE OF NATURE, by Jane Harper. (Flatiron, $16.99.) In this thriller from the hugely popular Australian crime novelist, five colleagues set out for a hike in the bush, but only four return. Aaron Falk, a federal agent, investigates the missing hiker - a woman who was widely disliked and secretly looking into her firm's dodgy finances. He turns up a web of betrayals and secrets, and acts as the book's moral compass. FEEL FREE: Essays, by Zadie Smith. (Penguin, $18.) Ajoyful current guides these selections, which touch on everything from a philosophical consideration of Justin Bieber's appeal to the thrill of public parks in Italy. As our reviewer, Amanda Fortini, put it, "It is exquisitely pleasurable to observe Smith thinking on the page, not least because we have no idea where she's headed." ANATOMY OF A MIRACLE, by Jonathan Miles. (Hogarth, $16.) When an Army veteran who has been paralyzed from the waist down suddenly can walk again, his recovery raises a number of questions: Was it divine intervention? A medical breakthrough? And above all, why him? Miles's novel mimics a New Journalism narrative style, and our reviewer, Christopher R. Beha, called the book "a highly entertaining literary performance." DAUGHTERS OF THE WINTER QUEEN: Four Remarkable Sisters, the Crown of Bohemia, and the Enduring Legacy of Mary, Queen of Scots, by Nancy Goldstone. (Back Bay/Little, Brown, $18.99.) Goldstone is known for her histories of royals, and this one charts the stormy life of Elizabeth Stuart. The daughter of Charles I and known as "the most charming princess of Europe," she schemed for her children in 17th-century England. The book doubles as a useful introduction to a time when Britain's relations with Europe were strained. THE ESSEX SERPENT, by Sarah Perry. (Custom House/William Morrow, $16.99.) In this romance-meets-ghost-story, it's 1893 and Cora, recently widowed, heads to the coast of England with her son. There, she finds a town racked with worry that a fearsome monster has returned. As Cora investigates the phenomenon, she is drawn to a local pastor, and their dialogues about faith and science help create a richly satisfying relationship. THE LINE BECOMES A RIVER, by Francisco Cantú. (Riverhead, $17.) To better understand immigration in the United States, Cantu joined the Border Patrol. He writes of his time with the agency, where he witnessed casual cruelty toward migrants. A later section, which tells the story of a friend who was deported, makes a meaningful contribution to literature of the border.

Library Journal Review

Goldstone (The Rival Queens) once again places a much-deserved spotlight on remarkable women from European history. In this case, the enduring ancestral legacy of Mary, Queen of Scots (1542-87). Mary's granddaughter Elizabeth Stuart, known as "the Winter Queen," is less familiar than that of her grandmother, who was beheaded by Queen Elizabeth I in 1587 (nine years before Stuart was born). But the story of the Winter Queen and her colorful brood of children-one of whom fathered King George I-rivals that of the Tudors. Goldstone's journey begins with Mary's brutal beheading and takes us through the eventual ascension of her son to the throne, triggering a series of dramatic generational events that include jealous gun-wielding queens, shifting loyalties, scandalous affairs, unprecedented marital arrangements, endless war, and religious fanaticism. Most importantly, we learn of the impressive power and influence of Stuart and her four daughters, which endures to this day. VERDICT A compulsively readable account of an otherwise unfamiliar royal family. Goldstone writes with knowledge, humor, and ease-a masterly storyteller who steers clear of overly academic language. Ideal for amateur Tudor historians who wish to be introduced to a lesser-known yet equally fascinating royal family.-Erin Entrada Kelly, Philadelphia © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Mapp. x-xi
Selected Genealogy of the Stuart Familyp. xii-xiii
Introductionp. 3
Part I Elizabeth Stuart, the Winter Queen, Granddaughter of Mary, Queen of Scots
1 A King's Daughterp. 11
2 (An Almost) Royal Weddingp. 30
3 Goodwife Palsgravep. 52
4 Queen of Bohemiap. 70
5 The Winter Queenp. 88
6 Queen of Heartsp. 108
Part II The Daughters of the Winter Queen: Princess Elizabeth, Louise Hollandine, Henrietta Maria, and Sophia
7 A Royal Refugeep. 137
8 Child of Light and Darkp. 149
9 Lilies and Rosesp. 163
10 A Royal Educationp. 177
11 The Visiting Philosopherp. 195
12 A Scandal in Bohemiap. 219
13 Honor and Dutyp. 235
14 Royal Sense and Sensibilityp. 259
15 A Lesson on the Passionsp. 271
16 A Desperate Planp. 287
17 The Electress, Two Dukes, and the Lady-in-Waitingp. 311
Part III The Legacy of Mary, Queen of Scots
18 Abbess of Herfordp. 341
19 Abbess of Maubuissonp. 363
20 A Scandal in Hanoverp. 389
21 The Triumph of the Winter Queenp. 419
Epiloguep. 431
Acknowledgmentsp. 433
Notesp. 437
Selected Bibliographyp. 461
Illustration Creditsp. 469
Indexp. 471