When Gustav Eriksson was elected regent in 1521, he was alone and destitute - his relatives had been executed in the infamous Stockholm Bloodbath and all of the family’s assets were seized. But Gustav was used to wielding influence, and he came to the throne with the help of lies and deception, greed and considerable brutality. He managed to build a kingdom that would become the foundation of modern Sweden. The bundle of oats on his coat of arms gave Gustav the name of Vaasa, and following him, nine rulers of Sweden and Poland have kept the “vase" as their sigil.
The history of the wild Vasa family is the story of strong personalities, wise women, fervent love, and sad fates, and most of all great drama. A string of insanity runs through the generations, sometimes exploding into violence, sometimes creating art, and at times leading to a total spiritual darkness.
The Wild & Violent Vasa Family is Herman Lindqvist’s sixtieth book, and the way in which he recounts the Vasa family’s struggle for power makes it a constantly exciting read. It is the most complete chronicle of the Vasas ever published and contains more stories about and insights into the Polish branch of the family than any other book on the subject.
Today, every royal family in Europe is in some way related to King Gustav Vasa, including Queen Elizabeth of England and Prince Oscar Carl Olof of Sweden. And thousands of Swedes boast to be kin with the Vasa dynasty.