Sophia of Hanover: from Winter Princess to Heiress of Great Britain, 1630-1714

Sophia of Hanover: Winter Princess by J.N. Duggan. Published by Peter Owen Publishers, 2010.
Sophia, Electress of Hanover (1630-1714) was daughter of Frederick and Elisabeth of the Palatinate, known as the Winter King and Queen of Bohemia. She was also granddaughter of James I of England and mother of George I. She is best remembered in the English-speaking world as the connection between the Houses of Stuart and Hanover. Had she lived long enough she would have succeeded Anne as Queen of England.

This new biography however reveals that she was much more than a crucial link in the lineage of the English throne. Her memoirs, which she wrote at the age of 50 and her correspondence which date from 1658 - quoted extensively for the first time in this volume - reveal a gifted and prolific chronicler of her times. They offer the reader a fascinating insider's view of life at the top echelons of society in the seventeenth and eighteenth century Europe; the politics, intrigue and daily life in the royal houses, to many of which she was related by blood or marriage.

Sophia spoke fluent English, French, German, Dutch and Italian. She was remarkably open-minded and intellectually curious as reflected in her writings. They cover an astonishing variety of subjects, from politics, religion and philosophy to international gossip and household tips, as well as intimate details of her family and social circles.

The author has translated a considerable proportion of Sophia's writings from the original French and German to reveal a remarkable portrait of a remarkable woman.


Sophia of Hanover: from Winter Princess to Heiress of Great Britain, 1630-1714 by J.N. Duggan
Non-fiction; biography, historical
223 pages; includes index, bibliography, colour illustrated with maps and family trees 
First published in 2010 by Peter Owen Publishers, London 
ISBN: 978-0-7206-1342-1

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Sophia of Hanover: Winter Princess by J.N. Duggan. Majesty Magazine Book of the Month.

Reviews for Sophia of Hanover: from Winter Princess to Heiress of Great Britain, 1630-1714

I was given this book as a gift, and (novels being more my usual diet) it's not the sort of thing that I'd normally find myself reading. But I have a general interest in history and - as a writer myself - I always appreciate a well written text. And this is very well written, the author combining an accessible account of Sophia's life with unobtrusive touches of dry wit. An enjoyable read. - Gregory Heath, author of The Entire Animal (on Amazon)

This well written book by J.N. Duggan is a lively and entertaining account of the life of Sophia of Hanover - a woman who saw more scandal and intrigue in her 84 years than most of us will ever read about! The author, Josephine Duggan, has done an excellent job in bringing alive both the period and the people inhabiting it. This book serves as an excellent introduction to the time and has certainly piqued my interest in further reading. I would definitely recommend this book to those interested in learning more of the history of the royal houses of Europe. - ocliffy, Dublin, Ireland (on Amazon)

This is the story of Sophia, Electress of Hanover. The story takes us from her birth to death, and a bit beyond that on both sides. The genealogy also explains why Sophia’s descendants became monarchs of an island far away from Hanover. The book is full of facts and stories about Sophia, her family and the times in which she lived. I am not too familiar with the times, so for me it was good to get the setting around at the same time as I got the more personal stories. - Norwegianne.net

Sophia of Hanover is the descent who links the Stuart line on the British throne to the current royal family's right to inherit. However, at her birth her becoming heiress to the throne seemed the most unlikely thing that could happen. She was the daughter of Princess Elizabeth Stuart "the winter Queen" and her husband Frederick, Elector of Palantine. She was born grew up in the Hague in Holland in background of gentile poverty with a mother who was generous beyond her means but who nevertheless never forgot her royal heritage. Sophia had an interesting life and made the best of what it dealt her. In her 50s when she hit a low patch she even started writing her memoirs. Luckily for us the multi lingual Sophia was an excellent writer. The author has even included a number of Sophia's letters in their original language at the back of the book as a "challenge" for readers to translate (a bit annoying but at least they are published). I would have to say this was an interesting look at Sophia's life. Given her extensive letter writing and the quality of her letters this is unlikely to be the be-all-end-all biography of Sophia but as an overview of her life and a look at a woman who was fascinating in her own right this is a good read. - K. Maxwell, Sydney, Australia (on Amazon)

Very readable version of the woman who caused the Hanoverians to inherit the British throne. I will be reading it again, which is my greatest praise. - Mr. J.M. (Jason) Riley, London, England (on Amazon)

Interesting book and interesting lady. Pity she never got chance to be Queen, not as boring as her many descendants. - Ms. J. Henderson, Shetland, Great Britain (on Amazon)

An excellent insight into European history and a great read. - Judith Parkinson (on Amazon)



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