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Braunschweig-Lüneburg, Sophie Elisabeth von (1613–1676)

Braunschweig-Lüneburg, Sophie Elisabeth von (1613–1676)

German duchess, composer, and playwright. Name variations: Sophie von Braunschweig-Luneburg. Born in 1613; died in 1676 in Braunschweig-Lüneburg (Germany); married August the Younger, duke of Braunschweig-Lüneburg, in 1635; children: many stepchildren, includingSibylle Ursula von Braunschweig-Lüneburg (1629–1671).

Sophie Elisabeth was born into the German nobility and married August of Braunschweig-Lüneburg at age 22, becoming stepmother to his many children. The highly educated duchess promoted a lively, intellectual court and patronized baroque artists, for which she became known as the "Juno" of Braunschweig-Lüneburg, after the Roman goddess of myth. Sophie also contributed her own works to the art of her time, writing songs, plays, and librettos which were performed at court. In 1652, she completed a novel, The Story of Dorinde, based on French courtly literature. In addition, Sophie expressed her religious views in the prayers and various spiritual tracts she composed. She died about age 63.

Laura York , Anza, California

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