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Ebba Brahe to Gustavus Adolphus

Updated: Jan 16

Most gracious illustrious Master

Friend, and King,

Her majesty the Queen compelleth me to wed Count Jacob de la Gardie at the palace next Sunday. Have pity upon me, your Majesty, and save me from this horror. You know full well how I devoted my heart to you when you plighted me your heart’s troth. If your Majesty come not in your own person to my relief, then must I relinquish all hope of another happy hour during this my earthly term. Come to the aid of your dear Ebba, who loves your Majesty unto pallid death.

Kelahan, M. (2011). The world's greatest love letters. In The world's greatest love letters. New York, NY: Fall River Press.

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Background Information

Ebba Brahe (1596-03-16 — 1674-01-05), a countess, wrote an agonizing letter to her then young love King Gustav II Adolf. The young king of Sweden is the son of Karl IV and Kristina, Queen Kolstein Gottorp. Ebba was a lady in waiting to Queen Christina (Dowager). Ebba and Gustaf Adolf intended marrying as soon as he got home, but Dowager Queen Kristina disapproved their plans and instead wanted the king to marry a royal bride. To prevent the marriage from taking place, she attempted to get her son, Gustaf Adolf to doubt his love and fidelity. The Queen finally pushed Ebba into a marriage with Admiral Jacob De la Gardie. The young Gustaf Adolf returns from a decisive battle with Denmark to find his love married off. Dismayed, he contemplated death by suicide. He thus convinced himself, his duty to his people superseded his personal happiness and eventually congratulated the young couple on their union. Ebba and her husband went on to have 14 children of which only seven survived to adulthood, a flourishing career and prominence.

Gustaf Adolf II married Maria Eleonora of Brandenburg and became parents of Queen Kristina the last of the Vasa dynasty.

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