978-0-09-457860-9 / 9780094578609

Sophie Dorothea





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About the book:

Of all the royal intrigue in the history of Europe, none was more dramatic than that surrounding the life of Sophie Dorothea. Wife of King George I of Great Britain (although she was divorced by him twenty years before he came to the throne), mother of George II of England and of the Queen of Prussia, and grandmother of Frederick the Great, this remarkable woman, who should normally have enjoyed the highest honors, in fact spent the last thirty years of her life a prisoner in her own home. The story of her life reads like a 17th-century scandal sheet. The circumstances of Sophie Dorothea's birth engendered a bitter mistrust and rivalry between her dashing father, George William, Duke of Hanover and his younger brother, Ernest Augustus. the latter had agreed to marry his brother's fiancée - considered too unexciting by this gay blade - in exchange for George William's dominions. this extraordinary agreement was made effective by George William's promise not to marry and thereto provide no heirs to his fortune. This promise was soon forgotten when George William fell madly in love with a beautiful Frenchwoman, who was to be the mother of Sophie Dorothea. It is almost inconceivable that this lovely child should be betrothed to the son of her father's arch rival, Ernest Augustus, but a the age of 16, in spite of her passionate opposition to the union, Sophie Dorothea became the wife of her first cousin. to escape the unhappiness of her life with a brutal, uncultivated man who made no attempt to hide his preference for his various mistresses, Sophie Dorothea rashly embarked on an affair with a handsome Swedish officer, County Konigsmarck, who was to pay with his life for this indiscretion. This tragic romance takes place in the midst of insatiably ambitious courtiers who would stop at nothing to achieve their ends. The Machiavellian plots and counterplots surrounding the couple are of a ruthlessness and ingenuity unequaled in our time.

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