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Daughters of the Winter Queen: Four Remarkable Sisters, the Crown of Bohemia, and the Enduring Legacy of Mary, Queen of Scots

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  930 ratings  ·  146 reviews
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, E
Hardcover, 481 pages
Published April 10th 2018 by Little, Brown and Company
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4.01  · 
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 ·  930 ratings  ·  146 reviews

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Stephen Robert Collins
Jul 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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
Apr 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
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
Apr 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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.
Jun 04, 2018 rated it liked it
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 ...more
Caidyn (SEMI-HIATUS; BW Reviews; he/him/his)
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
Mar 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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.
May 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Aug 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
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
Jul 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
**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
May 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography, history, 2018
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
Dec 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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
Kate Eminhizer
Jan 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
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
Mrs. Salgy
Jan 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Dec 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
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 ...more
Jun 05, 2018 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Women's history, English History, royal shennanigans
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 ...more
Carolyn Harris
Jul 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
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 ...more
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 ...more
Helen Carolan
May 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
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.
Ann Olszewski
Jul 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
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
David Dunlap
Jun 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Sherry Sharpnack
Mar 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Elizabeth Stuart is the daughter of England’s James I, and thus is the granddaughter of Mary, Queen of Scots. The book begins w/ Mary’s trial and subsequent execution. Elizabeth herself was born in Scotland; moved to England at six to become an heiress to the throne. She was married to Prince Frederick of the Palatinate, a small county in Germany. This marriage was “beneath” Elizabeth, but the plan was for Frederick to become King of Bohemia, which he does. However, the Catholic Holy Roman Emper ...more
Shilpa Sudhakar
Apr 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Patricia Romero
Mar 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, history
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
Apr 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
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
Mar 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, netgalley
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 ...more
Amy Stover
May 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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.
Jan 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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
Apr 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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.
Apr 15, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The narrative reported the facts but didn't go below the surface to bring these ladies to life.
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
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