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Konigsmark, Maria Aurora, Countess

KONIGSMARK, MARIA AURORA, COUNTESS or (1662-1728), mistress of Augustus the Strong, elector of Saxony and king of Poland, belonged to a noble Swedish family, and was born on the 8th of May 1662. Having passed some years at Hamburg, where she attracted attention both by her beauty and her talents, Aurora went in 1694 to Dresden to make inquiries about her brother Philipp Christoph, count of Konigsmark, who had suddenly and mysteriously disappeared from Hanover. Here she was noticed by Augustus, who made her his mistress; and in October 1696 she gave birth to a son Maurice, afterwards the famous marshal de Saxe. The elector however quickly tired of Aurora, who then spent her time in efforts to secure the position of abbess of Quedlinburg, an office which carried with it the dignity of a princess of the Empire, and to recover the lost inheritance of her family in Sweden. She was made coadjutor abbess and lady-provost (Propstin) of Quedlinburg, but lived mainly in Berlin, Dresden and Hamburg. In 1702 she went on a diplomatic errand to Charles XII. of Sweden on behalf of Augustus, but her adventurous journey ended in failure. The countess, who was described by Voltaire as " the most famous woman of two centuries," died at Quedlinburg on the 16th of February 1728.

See F. Cramer, Denkwiirdigkeilen der Grdfin M. A. Konigsmark (Leipzig, 1836) ; and Biographische Nachrichten von der Grdfin M. A. Konigsmark (Quedlinburg, 1833); W. F. Palmblad, Aurora Konigsmark und ihre Verwandte (Leipzig, 1848-1853); C. L. de Pollnitz, La Saxe galante (Amsterdam, 1734); and O. J. B. von CorvinWiersbitzki, Maria Aurora, Grdfin von Konigsmark (Rudolstadt, 1902).

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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