Descartes Critical And Interpretive Essays

Most prominently, her family’s fortunes were intertwined with the Thirty Years War, one of the most tumultuous events in Europe during the 17th century.In his famous , David Hume called that war “the most destructive in modern annals” (Hume 1850, V: chapter 61, page 454).

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This meant, as Carol Pal remarks in her , that Elisabeth would become the Calvinist leader of an abbey in Lutheran Germany harboring religious exiles such as Quakers and Labadists.“I have so far found that only you understand perfectly all the treatises which I have published up to this time…I know of no mind but yours to which all things are equally evident, and which I therefore deservedly term incomparable.” (1644), dedication to Princess Elisabeth.Elisabeth’s cousin was crowned King Charles II of England in 1660 after the Civil War had ended and the monarchy was restored.Indeed, in 1649 alone, Elisabeth and her family were involved in two of the most momentous events in the whole century: through her brother, she was connected to the eventual development of the peace treaty of Westphalia, which ended the Thirty Years War; and through her mother, to the execution of Charles I that same year (in February).Years later, Elisabeth returned this generosity by providing van Schurman and some of her colleagues with safe haven in the face of potential religious persecution.Elisabeth demonstrated a keen interest in philosophical and intellectual controversy and discussion.After a childhood in Germany, largely in Heidelberg and Berlin, her family went into exile in Holland, living in The Hague in the 1630s.During this time period, she was mentored by the great philosopher, linguist, and polymath Anna Maria van Schurman (the first woman to attend university in Europe), who advised Elisabeth on a range of subjects and suggested numerous readings for her to consider.Elisabeth, Princess Palatine of Bohemia, was a remarkable woman living during remarkable times.She experienced a devastating and protracted war, years of exile, political strife, executions of family members, and a final period as a political authority and protector of religious refugees.


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