Exhibitions,: Bachelor Queen

As a queen, Christina of Sweden was something of a flop. Her reign lasted only ten years; then she converted to Roman Catholicism, abdicated, moved to Rome, and became a national embarrassment. As a historical personage, she inspired more fiction than fact with her bizarre ways. Greta Garbo played her on the screen in 1934 as a vamp who went disguised as a man, washed her face with snow, and proclaimed that she expected to die "not an old maid but a bachelor."

Taking up the scepter in 1644, Christina soon became Europe's most curious baroque spinster queen. Her father,...

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