Christina of Sweden
Christina (December 8 1626 – April 19, 1689), later known as Maria Christina Alexandra and sometimes Countess Dohna, was Queen regnant of Sweden from 1632 to 1654. She was the only surviving legitimate child of King Gustav II Adolf of Sweden and his wife Maria Eleonora of Brandenburg. As the heiress presumptive, at the age of six, she succeeded her father to the throne of Sweden after his death at the Battle of Lützen in the Thirty Years’ War. During her reign, Sweden established its short-lived North American colony. She was especially troubled by relations with Poland which, though ruled by the same dynasty, was constantly at war with Sweden. She was tutored by René Descartes. Both as Queen and after her abdication, she patronized dance, music and art. Choosing not to marry despite many offers, she appointed her cousin, Charles Gustavus, Prince Palatine of Deux-Ponts, as her heir. Converting from Lutheranism to Catholicism, she abdicated her throne in 1655 and went to live in Rome, where she devoted herself to science and culture.
Her sexuality and sexual orientation attracted controversy during her lifetime. She almost always wore men's clothes. She has been described as a Hermaphrodite. Allegedly a libertine, she is said to have had serial affairs with men and women. Actually, she may have died a virgin. In 1656, she was involved in an attempt to become Queen of Naples. The plot failed and Christina's reputation suffered because she ordered the execution of the man who betrayed her, although she was not charged with any crime. In 1660, after Charles Gustav's death, she tried unsuccessfully to re-ascend the Swedish throne. She also allowed her name to be put forward in 1666 as a candidate for the Polish throne. After her death, she was buried in Saint Peter's Basilica, a rare honor for a woman, evidence that despite the calumny against her she enjoyed the respect of many people within the Church. In fact, she was involved in a reformist group of Cardinals and senior clergy, acting as hostess for their social and political gatherings. Separating fact from fiction is a daunting task. On the one hand, Christina steered an unsteady, eccentric and often enigmatic course through life. On the other hand, as a woman more or less on her own, she not only dared to flout convention but even survived in a world dominated by men. Society needs to find constructive ways to put the obvious talent and energy of a Queen Christina to work - in ways that prevent waste of what such a person has to offer, and help to make the world a better, more peaceful place.
Christina was born in Stockholm. Her birth occurred during a rare astrological conjunction that fueled great speculation on what influence the child, fervently hoped to be a boy, would later have on the world stage. The queen had already given birth to two sons, one of whom was stillborn and the other lived only one year. The queen was now expected to produce a healthy male child to succeed as the heir to the throne, held by the House of Vasa since 1523. Born June 22 1634 there was some confusion about her gender, which was not immediately announced. Buckley speculates that there may have been some type of genital abnormality, perhaps she was what would "now be called transsexual.". From an early age, she preferred to dress in clothes more typical of a man She was educated in the manner typical of men, such as dresses with short skirts, stockings and shoes with high heels - all these features being useful when not riding pillion, which she did not. She later wrote that she detested everything about her gender:
I despised everything belonging to my sex, hardly excluding modesty and property. I could not stand long dresses and only wanted to wear short skirts.
Christina's mother, Maria Eleonora of Brandenburg, came from the Hohenzollern family. She was a woman of distraught temperament, and apparently tried to make Christian feel guilty for her difficult birth. Either this or just the horror of the story itself may have prejudiced Christina against the prospect of having to be a brood horse to ensure that the dynasty had an heir. Her father seems to have reconciled himself to having a daughter as his heir. Buckley points out that Elizabeth I of England's reign was admired in Sweden at the time. She had driven off the Spanish Armada and had "framed a golden age for her small country" with a reputation for possessing the "heart and stomach of a king." There may even have been some popular enthusiasm or a Swedish version, for a Queen with the "heart and stomach of a king" who might usher in a golden era for Sweden, constantly embroiled in wars with their larger neighbor, Lithuania-Poland. The two countries were on opposing sides of the Thirty Years War and had also fought a series of wars of their own. Cristina's uncle would lose his life fighting the Poles, making her the heir presumptive. There were living female members of the Vasa family descended from Gustav I Vasa but Christina was in the direct line of succession.
Her father gave orders that Christina should be brought up as a prince. Even as a child she displayed great precociousness. In 1649, when she was age 23, she invited the philosopher Descartes to Sweden to tutor her (so early in the morning, according to one popular account, that the lessons hastened Descartes' death from pneumonia in 1650). Christina also took the oath as king, not queen, because her father had wanted it so. Growing up, she was nicknamed the "Girl King."
Christina was crowned as King (not Queen) after her father's death. Between 1632 and 1644, national policy was by her guardian, regent and adviser Axel Oxenstierna, chancellor to her father and until she reached her majority principal, member of the governing regency council.
After her assumption of direct power, Christina's reign was overshadowed by continued dispute with Poland. Ruled by a branch of the same Vasa family, the Polish king could also lay claim on the Swedish throne. This meant that the question of her own marriage and that of an heir was considered to be urgent. She was pressured to choose a husband, and did not lack suitors. The possibility that she was a lesbian was whispered among her counselors, something that her choice of dress and continued spinsterhood would have done little to dampen. In 1649, to discourage discussion of marriage as well as suitors for her hand, she appointed her cousin Charles X Gustav of Sweden (also called Karl) as her successor, but without the smallest participation in the rights of the crown during her own life.
It was under Christina that Sweden undertook its effort at North American colonization, known as "New Sweden." Fort Christina, the first European settlement in what is now Wilmington, Delaware (and the first permanent settlement in the Delaware Valley as a whole) was named for the Queen as Virginia had been named for the virgin Queen of England. Elizabeth launched the mighty enterprise that transformed the modest Kingdom of England into the largest non-contiguous empire in the world. Sweden went on to acquire a much smaller, and short lived, colonial empire.
Christina was interested in theater and ballet; a French ballet-troupe under Antoine de Beaulieu was employed by the court from 1638, and there were also an Italian and a French Orchestra at court, which all inspired her much. She invited foreign companies to play at Bollhuset, such as an Italian Opera troupe in 1652 and a Dutch theatre troupe in 1653; she was also herself an amateur-actor, and amateur-theater was very popular at court in her days. Her court poet Georg Stiernheilm wrote her several lays in the Swedish language, such as Den fångne Cupido eller Laviancu de Diane performed at court with Christina in the main part of the goddess Diana. She founded the dance order Amaranterordern in 1653. Until Descartes' death, she had planned to establish a Swedish Academy. She wanted Sweden to become recognized as a cultural center of excellence. She held a lavish court, where she wined and dined her favorite foreign visitors.
However, it was her handling of financial matters and foreign affairs that began to concern her counselors. She had no grasp whatsoever of fiscal policy or financial management and "extravagance, it seemed, was her credo." Famously, she handed out so many titles, selling them "by the dozen" but at a very modest cost that within ten years she had created 17 counts, 46 barons and 428 lesser nobles; to provide these new peers with adequate appanages (an estate to accompany the title), she had sold or mortgaged crown property representing an annual income of 1,200,000 Swedish riksdaler. "When all the old titles were gone, she created new ones." She was indiscriminate, too, with regard to whom she ennobled, handing out title "impartially to the high and low …" In fact, many were nor even Swedish but foreigners come "to claim their laurels." Some feared that the Queen would sell off everything, "until there was nothing left". However, in 1650 she resisted a petition from the nobility to reduce the level of tax against property, which in the circumstances did nothing to enhance her popularity but may have done the treasury no harm. Towards the end of her life, Christina's financial management improved somewhat enabling her to end her life with dignity, and the respect of those who admired her.
Her foreign policy was somewhat eccentric. She contemplated an alliance with Spain, a state quite outside the orbit of Sweden's influence (and solidly Catholic whereas Sweden was Protestant), the first fruits of which were to have been an invasion of Portugal. She appears to have found the responsibilities of government wearisome but to have enjoyed her ability to patronize art and culture as well as being at the center of attention. However, while her foreign policy suggestion did not suggest that she possessed a sophisticated grasp of international affairs, she also though Sweden too provincial. She first contemplated abdicating in 1651 but was persuaded to remain Queen. Then, on June 5, 1654 she followed through with an abdication plan and stepped down in favor of Charles Gustav. Her abdication also appears to have been linked with her secret conversion to Catholicism.
She is said to have stayed in her rooms for some time before her abdication, consulting with her priest. The sincerity of her conversion has been questioned. In 1651, the Jesuit Paolo Casati had been sent on a mission to Stockholm in order to gauge the sincerity of her intention to become Catholic. Much speculation has centered on the reasons for her abdication. Was it so that she could openly practice her Catholic faith? Was it so that she could openly live as a man? Was it so that she could indulge in lesbian relationships without the censure of her Council? Was it because she wanted to walk on a wider stage? Was it to pursue her intellectual and cultural interests without the heavy and burdensome responsibilities of rule? There is some evidence that she always planned to seek out and occupy a more prestigious throne even though she clearly had no plan of action. Was it because, as a Queen in the prime of life, many would see her abdication as an enigmatic act without any ready explanation? Did she abdicate because she could, and even wanted to shock the world? Dressed in men's clothes and calling herself Count Donha (the name of one of her companions), she departed from Sweden. As she crossed over to the Danish side of a stream, she exclaimed "free at last.". She rarely if ever again dressed as a woman, tending to cross-dress. She loved to strap a sword to her side. She deepened her voice when speaking.
Setting off to Rome
Then, adopting her baptismal name of Maria Christina Alexandra, she moved to Rome. Her reception there had been pre-arranged. Her conversion was considered to be important even if it had contributed to her abdication. It would have been difficult if not impossible for her to rule Sweden as a Catholic, with Lutheranism firmly established as the state religion. Once in Rome, her wealth and former position made her a center of society. Initially, she was hosted by the Vatican itself, then arrangements were made for her to move into the Palazzo Farnese, owned by the Duke of Parma. Michelangelo had helped to design the Palace, which, although in need of some repair, was a magnificent home for the former Queen. It had apparently been occupied by clergy because she did not find all the pictures and art-work displayed to her liking and soon hung her own. Christina's visit to Rome was the triumph of Pope Alexander VII and the occasion for splendid Baroque festivities. For several months she was the only preoccupation of the Pope and his court. The nobles vied for her attention and treated her to a never-ending round of fireworks, jousts, fake duels, acrobatics, and operas. At the Palazzo Aldobrandini, where she was welcomed by a crowd of 6000 spectators, she watched in amazement at the procession of camels and elephants in Oriental garb, bearing towers on their backs.
At an early point, she became intimate with a movement of senior clerics, mainly Cardinals, known as the "Flying Squad" (Squadrone Volante) movement within the Catholic Church, led by Decio Cardinal Azzolino. The Squad has been described as free-thinking. It wanted to modernize the administration of the Papal States, put an end to nepotism and maneuver the Papacy into a position of political neutrality. She was useful to them, and they were useful for her. They wanted a hostess who could receive and entertain foreign dignitaries; although a former Queen, she was still royal and this gave their circle a degree of social validity. They needed political support to implement their agenda. She needed supporters in Rome who might become allies in her own somewhat ill-formed plans to seek another throne, or to establish herself at the center of a cultural circle. She actually enjoyed the politics of her new life in Rome, especially because she could take part in this without the responsibilities of running a country. What she may not have predicted was that Cardinal Azzolino fell in love with her. Although he was infamous for his own affairs, rumors were soon circulating both about Christina's relationship with Azzolino and about her alleged lax sexual conduct; serial affairs with men and with women. Later, pamphlets denounced her as "a prostitute, a lesbian, an atheist." Despite the rumors and her reputation as a libertine, there does not seem to be much evidence to support the charge of promiscuity. She may have had relations with women as well as men but does not appear to have indulged in sexual activity very much at all, at any stage of her life. In fact, despite her reputation as a libertine, she may have remained a virgin. She does seem to have thrown wild parties, however. She appears, too, to have been assured by her priest friends that she did not have to conform to every aspect of Catholic faith and practice.
Plot to ascend throne of Naples
By 1656, Christina was running short of money. Her activities in Rome as the center of her social and cultural circle was expensive and the funds she had available were soon exhausted. To sustain her position, she began to sell off some disposable assets. The Cardinals were not unaware of her financial position and were quite anxious to help her, if a way could be found. Cardinal Mazarin of the Squad was also chief minister of France, had wide political influence including contacts in Naples, which was currently re-claiming its independence from Spanish rule. Mazarin was a protégé of Cardinal Richelieu. A delegation from Naples had approached Mazarin to help them gain French support to restore the independent monarchy. After considering several candidates for the throne of Naples, Mazarin decided to offer this to Christine. Naples was about fifty miles from Rome, so she could continue to act as patroness for the Squad's social and diplomatic program, while her financial problem would also be solved. It appears that Azzolino had no knowledge of the plan, which was for French militia "under the titular leadership of the Queen herself" to "secure the throne." According to Buckley, Christina had wanted to lead an army into battle since her childhood, and planned to do so personally although the Cardinal's plan was for to accompany an honor guard, not to lead the attack. The attraction of Naples was that there she would be "preeminent" whereas in Rome everyone was in the Pope's shadow. In Rome, there were many patrons of culture; in Naples, as Queen, she would take precedence. Azzolino, too, would be "just fifty miles away, along the sparkling coast" Naples, famous as a cultural center, would give her the platform she wanted; Naples may not be bigger or more powerful than Sweden but it was much more central to European life. She was “convinced that she was born to rule, and rule she would.”
Oddly, Christina decided to travel to Naples by way of Rome. Due to the secrecy involved, she pretended to be returning to Sweden to attend to some urgent business there. This may have been from necessity - her finances were by now non-existent and in Paris she could call upon the hospitality of the Royal Family. However, it was arranged that she would meet Mazarin there and finalize the plan. He had given her money for the journey. She was welcomed by Louis XIV, who assigned apartments to her at Fontainebleau and treated her with respect. The ladies of the court, though, were shocked with her masculine appearance, and by the unguarded freedom of her conversation. When visiting the ballet with Anne Marie Louise of Orléans, la Grande Mademoiselle, the King's cousin, as the latter recalls, she "surprised me very much - applauding the parts which pleased her, taking God to witness, throwing herself back in her chair, crossing her legs, resting them on the arms of her chair, and assuming other postures, such as I had never seen taken but by Travelin and Jodelet, two famous buffoons…. She was in all respects a most extraordinary creature".
Murder of Gian Rinaldo Monaldeschi
The plot ended in Paris. There, evidence that Gian Rinaldo Monaldeschi, her master of the horse, had betrayed Christina's plans in the autumn of 1657 was discovered. He was summoned into a gallery in the palace. What appeared to be incriminating letters were shown to him. He turned pale and begged for mercy. His "voice trembled." Finally, two servants appeared from an adjoining room and stabbed him. Recriminations immediately followed; could she not have issued a warning, or disciplined him? Christine, however, insisted that she had the right to execute her own subjects; it was pointed out that she was a guest in the country of another King, not a monarch in her own country. However, it was soon established that under French law she did have judicial rights over the members of her court. At least, it was uniformly held by the jurists that she had not committed a crime. The eminent German jurist, Gottfried Leibniz also ruled in her favor. The French court, however, were outraged and Christina, who sensed that she was unwelcome in France, was not sure where to go next. For some time she was isolated in her apartments, with no invitation to attend the royal court. She appears to have inquired about the possibility of visiting England, but it was clear that as long as Cromwell was in charge, England would remain a very un-hospitable place for a Catholic Queen, or ex-Queen. She was not certain if Rome would welcome her back either, and sent messages to gauge how she would be received there. Mazarin was prepared to receive her and would accommodate her in his own Palace.
Rome and bid for the Polish Throne
Christina returned Rome. The Pope refused to see her and many of her earlier friends stayed away. Mazarin tried to secure her funds from Sweden, with no success. In order to survive, Christina now sold her coronation robe and crowns, which she had kept in storage for the past eight years. With the proceeds, she managed to re-pay the Cardinal and maintain herself in Rome. Azzolino remained loyal and as the scandal receded, helped to rehabilitate her with the Pope. It was stipulated however that she move out of Mazarin’s Palace, so a villa was found for her across the river. The Palace was too close to the Pope’s residence for his liking, were she to remain there. Her reputation for riotous living made her “persona non grata with every noble Roman landlord.” The villa’s rent was cheap, and she lived there for the rest of her life. From this point, she managed her finances more prudently and began to “live, in a modest way, the cultured life she has dreamed of.”
After Charles Gustav died in 1660, she went back to Sweden with a view to reclaiming her throne. This bid was totally failed; his five-year old son would succeed and until he became of age, a regency council would govern. She was soon in Rome again. In 1662, some differences with the Pope saw her once more traveling to Sweden, determined to at least live there. Apparently, she was negotiating terms as she traveled and when these turned out to be unacceptable, she turned back when she reached Hamburg. Again, she returned to Rome. Following Ladislaus IV’s death and his successor's abdication, she became Head of the House of Vasa and a possible candidate for the Polish throne, which, although elective, had been held by a Vasa since 1587. In 1666, Cardinal Azzolino enthusiastically supported her candidacy and promoted this through the papal representative in Poland. By this time, Christine herself appears to have been skeptical about her chances of success and even expressed the opinion that women should not rule and if she had daughters, she would not wish this upon them.
Eventually, she emerged as a significant art collector and patron. Her financial position improved when she began to receive rent for land in Sweden, to which she managed to establish a legal right with help from a cousin of Azzolino. Among others, she employed the distinguished musicians Arcangelo Corelli and Alessandro Scarlatti and corresponded with a large number of intellectuals throughout Europe. Among works of art, she was the original owner of Titian's Venus Anadyomene. She wrote an opera libretto herself. She was a patron and co-founder of the Teatro Tordinona. When she could not afford to be the sole patron, she called on her wealthy friends within the Papal curia to co-sponsor,
She died on April 19, 1689, leaving her large and important library, originally amassed as war booty by her father Gustavus from throughout his European campaign, to the Papacy. She was unconscious for some time before she died, possibly from adult-diabetes related illness; Azzolino, who was at her side, arranged her funeral.
She is one of only three women to be given the honor of being buried in the grottoes of Saint Peter's Basilica, alongside the remains of the popes. A monument to her was carved later on and adorns a column close to the permanent display of Michelangelo's Michelangelo's Pietà. At the opposite pillar across the nave is the Monument to the Royal Stuarts, commemorating the other seventeenth century monarchs who lost their thrones due to their Catholicism.
The complex character of Christina has inspired numerous plays, books, and operatic works. August Strindberg's 1901 Kristina depicts her as a protean, impulsive creature. "Each one gets the Christina he deserves" she remarks.
The most famous fictional treatment is the classic feature film Queen Christina from 1933 starring Greta Garbo. This film, while entertaining, had almost nothing to do with the real Christina.
The Finnish author Zacharias Topelius' historical allegory Tähtien Turvatit also portrays her, like her father, as having a mercurial temperament, quick to anger, quicker to forgive. Kaari Utrio has also portrayed her tormented passions and thirst for love.
Christina's reign was controversial, and literature circulated during her lifetime describing her as participating in multiple affairs with both men and women. This, along with the emotional letters that she wrote to female friends, has caused her to become an icon for the lesbian community though there is no clear-cut evidence that she actually was involved in love affairs with either sex. On letter speaks of spending “nights” contemplating the beauty of a young female acquaintance. It also says that Christina would wait “some happy reversal that will change” her “sex.” Buckley comments that the letter is “not really a love letter” more a “flirtatious, even provocative note” but that Christina would probably have been disconcerted in the woman responded; “She had probably never been a lover of women in the fullest sense.”
The strongest evidence of a lasting platonic love-affair surfaced as encrypted letters she had sent to Decio Cardinal Azzolino, which were decrypted in the nineteenth century. They speak of intense but sublimated erotic desire. She later named him as her sole heir. The Squad regularly encrypted their correspondence; Christina copied this practice from them.
Her unusual attire caused her to later become an icon of the transgendered community, even though Christina herself was not transgendered. In 1965, her grave was opened so that her death mask could be studied, and her bones were examined to see if sex abnormalities could be identified, but none were.
Buckley says that Christina's life as one lived at a series of crossroads:
Christina's world was a crossroads world where God still ruled but men had begun to doubt. She herself would stand at many crossroads, of religion, of science, of society. And she would prove a dazzling exemplar of her own exotic era, am exemplar of flawed beauty, like the misshapen baroque pearl that would give its name to her vibrant, violent age.
Christina was a talented and volatile woman. She could attract people's friendship and loyalty but lacked the ability to steer a steady course through life. Instead, like a ship in a storm, she was tossed from one course to another. Was she immoral? There is really no evidence that she was promiscuous; like Elizabeth I of England, she may have died a virgin. Christine can be seen as a victim of her age: women did not have careers outside the home; women did not teach at University; even writing and artistic endeavor was only practiced in private. Oddly, one of the few jobs a women could do - although rarely - was rule a country. Christine did that and found her responsibilities too burdensome. Perhaps wiser counsel might have steered her towards a role in which she could have excelled. However, the calumny against her may have been generated because men could not accept that a woman on her own - known to be financially embarrassed - could survive unless she was selling herself for sex. Her life was certainly unconventional. Yet, with the exception of her role in the murder, or execution, of Gian Rinaldo Monaldeschi, she cannot be said to have hurt those around her. What can be said is that, as a woman on her own, she survived - at times even thrived - in a world dominated by men.
Christina's ancestors in three generations
|Gustav I of Sweden (Vasa)|
|Charles IX of Sweden (Vasa)|
|Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden (Vasa)|
|Adolf, Duke of Holstein-Gottorp|
|Christina of Holstein-Gottorp|
|Christine of Hesse|
|Christina of Sweden (Vasa)|
|Joachim Frederick, Elector of Brandenburg|
|John Sigismund, Elector of Brandenburg|
|Catherine, Princess of Brandenburg-Küstrin|
|Maria Eleonora of Brandenburg|
|Albert Frederick, Duke of Prussia|
|Anna, Duchess of Prussia|
|Marie Eleonore of Cleves|
|House of Vasa|
Born: December 8 1626; Died: April 19 1689
Gustav II Adolf
|Queen regnant of Sweden
|Succeeded by: Karl X Gustav|
- Note that the birth date is December 8 in the Julian calendar, which was in effect in Sweden at the time, corresponding to December 18 in the Gregorian calendar.
- He had an illegitimate child by a prostitute.
- Veronica Buckley. 2004. Christina, Queen of Sweden: the restless life of a European eccentric. (New York, NY: Fourth Estate. ISBN 9780060736170), 20
- Buckley, 2004, 55.
- Buckley. 2004. 78.
- Jone Johnston Lewis, Queen Christian of Sweden. About Women. Retrieved August 21, 2008.
- Buckley. 2004. 164.
- Buckley. 2004. 186.
- Buckley, 2004, 194-195
- Buckley. 2004. 175.
- Buckley, 2004, 302.
- Buckley, 2004, 234.
- Marie-Louise Rodén. 2000. Church politics in seventeenth-century Rome: Cardinal Decio Azzolino, Queen Christina of Sweden, and the Squadrone Volante. (Acta Universitatis Stockholmiensis, 60) (Stockholm, SE: Almqvist & Wiksell International. ISBN 9789122018384), 48.
- Buckley. 2004. 233-235.
- Buckley, 2004, 335, note 13.
- Buckley, 2004, 249.
- Buckley, 2004, 250.
- Buckley, 2004, 286
- Buckley, 2004, 294
- Queen Christina (1933). Internet Movie Database. Rouben Mamoulian, (Director); S. N. Behrman, (dialogue), H. M. Harwood, (writer); MGM production. Another feature film, The Abdication, starred the Norwegian actress Liv Ullmann, and was based on a play by Ruth Wolff. Retrieved August 21, 2008.
- the Abdication (1974). Internet Movie Database. Anthony Harvey, (Director); Ruth Wolff, (screenplay); Warner Bros. Production. Retrieved August 19, 2008.
- Buckley, 2004, 210.
- Buckley, 2004, 8.
- There is some debate about whether Elizabeth died a virgin. Traditionally, though, her virginity has been accepted.
- Åkerman, Susanna. 1991. Queen Christina of Sweden and her circle: the transformation of a seventeenth-century philosophical libertine. Brill's studies in intellectual history, v. 21. Leiden, NL: E.J. Brill. ISBN 9789004093102.
- Buckley, Veronica. 2004. Christina, Queen of Sweden: the restless life of a European eccentric. New York, NY: Fourth Estate. ISBN 9780060736170.
- Goldsmith, Margaret L. 1933. Christina of Sweden, a psychological biography. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, Doran & Company, Inc.
- Hjortsjö, Carl-Herman. 1966. The Opening of Queen Christina's Sarcophagus in Rome. Stockholm: Norstedts.
- Hjortsjö, Carl-Herman. 1966. Queen Christina of Sweden: a medical/anthropological investigation of her remains in Rome. Acta Universitatis Lundensis. no. 9. Lund: C.W.K. Gleerup, Sweden.
- Mender, Mona. 1997. Extraordinary women in support of music. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press. ISBN 9780810832787.
- Meyer, Carolyn. 2003. Kristina, the girl king. Royal diaries. New York, NY: Scholastic. ISBN 9780439249768. (Childrens' Historical Fiction)
- Rodén, Marie-Louise. 2000. Church politics in seventeenth-century Rome: Cardinal Decio Azzolino, Queen Christina of Sweden, and the Squadrone Volante. Acta Universitatis Stockholmiensis, 60. Stockholm, SE: Almqvist & Wiksell International. ISBN 9789122018384.
- Strindberg, August, and Else von Hollander-Lossow. 1935. Königin Kristine: Schausp. in 4 Akten. Berlin, DE: Theaterverl. A. Langen-G. Müller.
- Topelius, Zacharias, and Aune Brotherus. 1995. Tähtien turvatit: ajan- ja luonteenkuvaus kuningatar Kristiinan ajoilta. Porvoo, FI: WSOY. ISBN 9789510036525.
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