||Map -- Selected genealogy of the Stuart family -- Introduction.
Part I. Elizabeth Stuart, the Winter Queen, granddaughter of Mary, Queen of Scots. A King's daughter -- (An Almost) Royal wedding -- Goodwife Palsgrave -- Queen of Bohemia -- The Winter Queen -- Queen of Hearts.
Part II. The daughters of the Winter Queen: Princess Elizabeth, Louise Hollandine, Henrietta Maria, and Sophia. A Royal refugee -- Child of light and dark -- Lilies and roses -- A Royal education -- The visiting philosopher -- A scandal in Bohemia -- Honor and duty -- Royal sense and sensibility -- A lesson on the passions -- A desperate plan -- The Electress, two Dukes, and the Lady-in-Waiting.
Part III. The legacy of Mary, Queen of Scots. Abbess of Herford -- Abbess of Maubuisson -- A scandal in Hanover -- The triumph of the Winter Queen.
||Documents how a betrayed Elizabeth Stuart, the daughter of James I, raised her four daughters in exile during the Dutch Golden Age, tracing how their stories shaped a three-decade war and fulfilled the promises of their great-grandmother, Mary Queen of Scots.
"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, Elizabeth Stuart was suddenly thrust from the poverty of unruly Scotland into the fairy-tale existence of a princess of great wealth and splendor. When she was married at sixteen to a German count far below her rank, it was with the understanding that her father would help her husband achieve the kingship of Bohemia. The terrible betrayal of this commitment would ruin 'the Winter Queen,' as Elizabeth would forever be known, imperil the lives of those she loved, and launch a war that would last for thirty years. Forced into exile, the Winter Queen and her family found refuge in Holland, where the glorious art and culture of the Dutch Golden Age indelibly shaped her daughters' lives. Her eldest, Princess Elizabeth, became a scholar who earned the respect and friendship of the philosopher René Descartes. Louisa was a gifted painter whose engaging manner and appealing looks provoked heartache and scandal. Beautiful Henrietta Maria would be the only sister to marry into royalty, although at great cost. But it was the youngest, Sophia, a heroine in the tradition of a Jane Austen novel, whose ready wit and good-natured common sense masked immense strength of character, who fulfilled the promise of her great-grandmother Mary and reshaped the British monarchy, a legacy that endures to this day. Brilliantly researched and captivatingly written, filled with danger, treachery and adventure but also love, courage, and humor, Daughters of the Winter Queen follows the lives of five remarkable women who, by refusing to surrender to adversity, changed the course of history."--Dust jacket.