Gender and Politics in Eighteenth-Century Sweden
This book retraces the life and experience of Princess Louisa Ulrika of Prussia (1720-1782), who became queen of Sweden, with a particular emphasis on her political role and activities. As crown princess (1744-1751), queen (1751-1771) and then queen dowager (1771-1782) of Sweden, Louisa Ulrika took an active role in political matters. From the moment she arrived in Sweden, and throughout her life, Louisa Ulrika worked tirelessly towards increasing the power of the monarchy. Described variously as fierce, proud, haughty, intelligent, self-conscious of her due royal prerogatives, filled with political ambitions, and accused by many of her contemporaries of wanting to restore absolutism, she never diverted from her objective to make the Swedish monarchy stronger, despite obstacles and adversities. As such, she embodied the perfect example of a female consort who was in turn a political agent, instrument and catalyst. More than just a biography, this book places Louisa Ulrika within the wider European context, thus shedding light on gender and politics in the early modern period.