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But Elisabeth was not content merely to play the role of a member of a royal household.
This was a fateful decision, as she became the Abbess of the convent there in 1667.
This meant, as Carol Pal remarks in her , that Elisabeth would become the Calvinist leader of an abbey in Lutheran Germany harboring religious exiles such as Quakers and Labadists.
Years later, Elisabeth returned this generosity by providing van Schurman and some of her colleagues with safe haven in the face of potential religious persecution.
Elisabeth demonstrated a keen interest in philosophical and intellectual controversy and discussion.
The War upended her family’s life, sending them away from Prussia into exile in Holland, where they would remain for years.
Her family also gave her intriguing connections to many key early modern figures.As the head of Herford Abbey, she courageously used her personal influence to provide refuge for persecuted religious groups—such as the Labadists and the Quakers—who were considered too radical by many religious and political institutions in the late 17 century.She spent years building an immense intellectual network through her personal connections, her correspondence, and her own actions as the leader of the Abbey.Her father was Frederick V, Prince of Bohemia, and her mother, Elisabeth Stuart, was the daughter of James I of England.Through her parents, she was connected to several of the most important events of the century.These details are found in a letter that John Worthington sent to Samuel Hartlib in May of 1661 (Worthington 1847—, I: 311), which means that More’s anticipation of her visit was public knowledge to some extent.Instead of moving with her mother to England in 1661, however, Elisabeth chose instead to move to Herford in Germany.“I have so far found that only you understand perfectly all the treatises which I have published up to this time…I know of no mind but yours to which all things are equally evident, and which I therefore deservedly term incomparable.” (1644), dedication to Princess Elisabeth.Life in The Hague turned out to be the first crucial stage of Elisabeth’s intellectual development, for she used this opportunity to shape a major intellectual community of exiles in The Hague.For instance, in 1634, at the age of only sixteen, she arranged a debate between Descartes and a Protestant Scottish minister named John Dury.