Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Of an Insane Swede and Elizabeth I

From English Historical Fiction Authors:
One of Elizabeth’s suitors was Swedish. As per the prevalent opinion, he was a dashing young man, beautiful enough to turn heads on the street. Erik Vasa, Prince of Sweden, not only had legs to die for, but he was well-educated and the heir to the Swedish throne – in itself a new-fangled concept, seeing as up to Erik’s father taking the throne, Swedish kings had always been elected. Erik also suffered from moments of borderline insanity – not something that would have been shared with a future bride.

Erik and Elizabeth had a lot in common; both born in 1533, both of them redheads and members of relatively young royal dynasties, both of them bright and vivacious… the list is quite long. They also had very forceful fathers, but by the time Erik proposed to Elizabeth, hers was long dead while Erik’s father, Gustav Vasa, was very much alive, and not at all in favour of an alliance with England.

Gustav Vasa is an enigmatic character whom people love to hate and hate to love. Brave and principled, ruthless and avaricious, he shares a number of traits with Henry Tudor, foremost among them the fact that he won his crown by conquest, not by undisputed blood-right. After having escaped with his life from the horrors of the Stockholm bloodbath, Gustav Vasa was essentially the only remaining Swedish noble capable of challenging the Danish king (who had annexed Sweden in a most brutal fashion), and challenge him he did, until that propitious day in June of 1523 when Gustav rode into Stockholm to the loud acclaim of the people, there to claim his throne. (Read more.)

No comments: