Christina

Christina

[kri-stee-nuh]
Christina, 1626-89, queen of Sweden (1632-54), daughter and successor of Gustavus II. From her father's death (1632) until 1644 she was under a regency headed by Chancellor Axel Oxenstierna. Her early devotion to state affairs soon gave place to other interests, especially a zeal for learning. She attracted many foreign artists and scholars—including Descartes—to her court. Music and literature, especially the poetry of Jorge Stiernhielm (1598-1672), were encouraged. On her favorites she lavished titles, lands, and money, and by the end of her reign half of the crown lands had been given away. Her distaste for marriage caused her to designate her cousin Charles (later Charles X) as her successor. Weary of her duties and the growing antagonism of the nobles, and attracted to Catholicism, Christina abdicated in 1654. She left Sweden attired as a man, was received into the Catholic Church at Innsbruck in 1655, and settled at Rome. Her eccentricity and financial incompetence kept her affairs in continual disorder. On the death (1660) of Charles X, Christina returned to Sweden; she hoped to regain her throne but failed. She again went to Sweden in 1667 but was refused entrance into Stockholm because of her religion. She died in Rome and was buried at St. Peter's.

See biographies by M. L. Goldsmith (1933), A. Neumann (tr. 1935), S. Stolpc (1960, tr. 1966), C. H. J. Weibull (1960, tr. 1966), G. Masson (1968), and V. Buckley (2004).

Stead, Christina, 1902-83, Australian novelist, b. Rockdale, New South Wales. She worked in the United States in the 1940s, emigrated to England in 1953, then returned to Australia in 1974. Her novels, written in the distinctive language of the interior monologist, treat the problem of evil, particularly the destruction wrought by human obsessions. In addition to The Man Who Loved Children (1940), her masterpiece, her novels include Seven Poor Men of Sydney (1934), the autobiographical For Love Alone (1944), A Little Tea, A Little Chat (1948), The Little Hotel (1975) Miss Herbert (The Suburban Wife) (1976), and the posthumous I'm Dying Laughing (1987). Stead also wrote novellas, short stories, and essays.

See Christina Stead: A Biography (1994) by H. Rowley; studies by J. Lidoff (1982), D. Brydon (1987), and S. Sheridan (1988).

(born July 17, 1902, Rockdale, Sydney, Austl.—died March 31, 1983, Sydney) Australian novelist. She traveled widely and at various times lived in London, Paris, and the U.S., where in the early 1940s she worked as a screenwriter for MGM. She returned to Australia in 1974. Her first published work was a collection of short stories, The Salzburg Tales (1934). She is best remembered for her novel The Man Who Loved Children (1940), the story of a disintegrating family.

Learn more about Stead, Christina (Ellen) with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Christina Rossetti, chalk drawing by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, 1866; in a private collection

(born Dec. 5, 1830, London, Eng.—died Dec. 29, 1894, London) English poet. The youngest child of Gabriele Rossetti and the sister of Dante Gabriel Rossetti, she found her highest inspiration in her deep religious faith. The collections Goblin Market (1862) and The Prince's Progress (1866) contain most of her finest work. Her best poetry is strong, personal, and unforced; her success arises from her ability to unite the devotional and the passionate sides of her nature. Her Sing-Song (1872; enlarged 1893), a collection of nursery rhymes, is among the most outstanding children's books of the 19th century. After the onset of a thyroid disorder in 1871, she wrote mainly devotional verse.

Learn more about Rossetti, Christina (Georgina) with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Christina Rossetti, chalk drawing by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, 1866; in a private collection

(born Dec. 5, 1830, London, Eng.—died Dec. 29, 1894, London) English poet. The youngest child of Gabriele Rossetti and the sister of Dante Gabriel Rossetti, she found her highest inspiration in her deep religious faith. The collections Goblin Market (1862) and The Prince's Progress (1866) contain most of her finest work. Her best poetry is strong, personal, and unforced; her success arises from her ability to unite the devotional and the passionate sides of her nature. Her Sing-Song (1872; enlarged 1893), a collection of nursery rhymes, is among the most outstanding children's books of the 19th century. After the onset of a thyroid disorder in 1871, she wrote mainly devotional verse.

Learn more about Rossetti, Christina (Georgina) with a free trial on Britannica.com.

(born July 17, 1902, Rockdale, Sydney, Austl.—died March 31, 1983, Sydney) Australian novelist. She traveled widely and at various times lived in London, Paris, and the U.S., where in the early 1940s she worked as a screenwriter for MGM. She returned to Australia in 1974. Her first published work was a collection of short stories, The Salzburg Tales (1934). She is best remembered for her novel The Man Who Loved Children (1940), the story of a disintegrating family.

Learn more about Stead, Christina (Ellen) with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Swedish Kristina

Christina, engraving by Cornelis Visscher, 1650.

(born Dec. 8, 1626, Stockholm, Swed.—died April 19, 1689, Rome) Queen of Sweden (1644–54). The successor to her father, Gustav II Adolf, she was a prime mover in concluding the Peace of Westphalia and ending the Thirty Years' War. After 10 years of rule, she stunned Europe by abdicating the throne, claiming that she was ill and that the burden of ruling was too heavy for a woman. Her real reasons were her aversion to marriage and her secret conversion to Roman Catholicism, which was proscribed in Sweden. She moved to Rome and subsequently attempted, without success, to gain the crowns of Naples and Poland. One of the wittiest and most learned women of her age, she was a lavish patroness of the arts and an influence on European culture.

Learn more about Christina with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Christina is a female name originating from Christian. It is a well-used name throughout the world with many variants.

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