A diary of the heart- so this is termed in distinction to the usual type of diary, as presumably Queen Christina of Sweden...

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A diary of the heart- so this is termed in distinction to the usual type of diary, as presumably Queen Christina of Sweden writes her Apologia on the verge of being openly accepted into the Roman Church. It is a strange document -- one feels as if this is the sort of memoir she might have left, with its complete assurance of her rightness, an often arrogant assertion of her power, a recognition of her dominant urge to know the truth. Hers was a strange tale:- orphaned in 1632 with the death of her father, King Gustavus Adolphus, she was briefly in the care of a neurotic, possessive mother, then of an aunt, while the Regency was dominated by the conservative nobleman, Chancellor Oenstierna. On her assumption of the crown, the veiled antagonism between them, the struggle for power, came into the open. Christina refused marriage, insisted on making her cousin, Carl Gustav, heir to the throne, while persisting in her refusal to make him her Consort. Her interests turned largely to scholarship; she brought to the Swedish court famous philosophers, notably Descartes, who died there; she planned an Academy; and in secret she studied assiduously for acceptance into the Catholic Church. At the end she faced the chooe- and choice abdication of the throne of this obsessively Lutheran kingdom, and went, in disguise, across Europe to Innsbruck then on to Rome. With this the story ends. It is wholly her story, told in the frame of the memoirs, with a certain artificiality of style, and a unity of focus, the viewpoint wholly her own. Uneven in interest, the appeal generally will be more to a non-fiction than a fiction audience.

Pub Date: Sept. 17, 1956

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1956