Skip to main content

Carolina of Orange-Nassau: Ancestress of the Royal Houses of Europe by Moniek Bloks: A Book Review

Carolina of Orange-Nassau: Ancestress of the Royal Houses of Europe
Author: Moniek Bloks
Genre: Nonfiction, History, Biography
Publisher: Chronos Books
Release Date: January 25, 2019
Pages: 97
Source: Netgalley/Publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis: Carolina of Orange-Nassau (1743 – 1787) was born the daughter of William IV, Prince of Orange, and Anne, Princess Royal and was thus the granddaughter of King George II. It was upon the King's orders that she was named after his wife, Caroline of Ansbach. She was the first of Anne and William's children to survive to adulthood. When her father was at last made stadtholder of all seven united provinces, Carolina was included in the line of succession, in the event she had no brothers. A brother was eventually born, but due to his weak health, she remained an important figure. Carolina married Charles Christian of Nassau-Weilburg and suffered the loss of half her children, either in childbirth or infancy. Despite this, she acted as regent for her minor brother while heavily pregnant and remained devoted to him and the Dutch republic. Her children married well and her descendants sit upon the royal thrones of Europe, truly making her a grandmother of Europe. 

     My Review: Carolina of Orange-Nassau is whom many of today’s European monarchies consider an ancestor. As important as she was, not many historians have given her a detailed study. This is the first biography in English of this important figure. Carolina of Orange-Nassau is portrayed as a devoted mother and a lover of music.

    Carolina is the granddaughter of King George II and Caroline of Ansbach. Her parents were William IV, the Prince of Orange, and Anne, the Princess Royal. She married Charles Christian, Prince of Nassau-Weilburg. She would give birth to 16 children. Carolina had a passion for arts and was the patroness of Mozart. Unfortunately, Carolina had an illness and died at the age of 44.

   While Carolina’s life was short-lived, it seemed that she was a woman of significance. The author gives us a list of every royal who is descended from her and the list is long. Some of her descendants are King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands, King Philippe of Belgium. Queen Margrethe II of Denmark, King Harald V of Norway, King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden, Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain, and King Felipe VI of Spain. Thus, Carolina has made an important contribution to history.

       I was a bit disappointed by this book’s length, which is 97 pages. Because there has not been a biography of this fascinating woman, I was sad that this book was not in-depth and only gave me a brief overview about her life. Instead of a detailed story, the author just gives me a list of dates and facts without much of an explanation of who these people were. For example, the author just gives us a list of Carolina’s husband, but gives us no backstory on him or why Carolina chose him as her husband. Instead of fleshing out the facts on her life, the author spends a chapter on all the castles that Carolina has lived in, which I found interesting but completely irrelevant in a biography. I was also a little disappointed that the author was given access to many of her letters, but only included very few snippets into the book.

     Overall, this was a short and very easy to read biography of Carolina of Orange-Nassau. However, this book had the makings to be an excellent biography, but it was disorganized and not well-formed. I still recommend this for those who have never heard of Carolina and would like to read a light biography on this forgotten royal. However, for those who would like an in-depth biography on her, will still have to wait a little longer. Carolina of Orange-Nassau does bring a significant woman out from obscurity.

Rating 2 ½  out of 5 stars


Popular posts from this blog

My Favorite Books of 2021

Looking back at the year 2021, it has been a very hard year especially with the pandemic. Reading a good book is what helps me get through the most difficult times. While I did not read as much this year as I usually do, I still found some gems that a worth a re-read. These books drew me into the past and for a while whisked me away from the realities of 2021. This is the list of my favorite books of the year. Boudica has always been one of my favorite historical figures of the year. I even wrote a history article which you can find here . I can say without a doubt that Melanie Karsak did justice to Boudica's early life. It was  a gripping historical read with raw emotions! I look forward to the next books in the series to see how Queen Boudica is portrayed! Queen Esther's story has always been one of my favorite book in the Bible . When my favorite Christian author writes one of my favorite stories, it becomes a sweet treat! I loved everything about The Star of Persia ! The m

The Seven Sisters (The Seven Sisters #1) by Lucinda Riley: A Book Review

The Seven Sisters (The Seven Sisters #1) Author: Lucinda Riley Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance Publisher: Atria Release Date: 2015 Pages: 463 Source: My State Public Library Synopsis: Maia D’Apliese and her five sisters gather together at their childhood home, “Atlantis”—a fabulous, secluded castle situated on the shores of Lake Geneva—having been told that their beloved father, who adopted them all as babies, has died. Each of them is handed a tantalizing clue to her true heritage—a clue which takes Maia across the world to a crumbling mansion in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Once there, she begins to put together the pieces of her story and its beginnings. Eighty years earlier in Rio’s Belle Epoque of the 1920s, Izabela Bonifacio’s father has aspirations for his daughter to marry into the aristocracy. Meanwhile, architect Heitor da Silva Costa is devising plans for an enormous statue, to be called Christ the Redeemer, and will soon travel to Paris to find the right sculptor to

Finding Dorothy by Elizabeth Letts: A Book Review

Finding Dorothy Author: Elizabeth Letts Genre: Historical Fiction Publisher: Ballantine Books Release Date: February 12, 2019 Pages: 352 Source: Netgalley/Publisher in exchange for an honest review. Synopsis: Hollywood, 1938: As soon as she learns that M-G-M is adapting her late husband’s masterpiece for the screen, seventy-seven-year-old Maud Gage Baum sets about trying to finagle her way onto the set. Nineteen years after Frank’s passing, Maud is the only person who can help the producers stay true to the spirit of the book—because she’s the only one left who knows its secrets.     But the moment she hears Judy Garland rehearsing the first notes of “Over the Rainbow,” Maud recognizes the yearning that defined her own life story, from her youth as a suffragette’s daughter to her coming of age as one of the first women in the Ivy League, from her blossoming romance with Frank to the hardscrabble prairie years that inspired The Wonderful Wizard of Oz . Judy reminds Maud of a