Anna Amalia, Abbess of Quedlinburg

Princess Anna Amalia of Prussia (9 November 1723 – 30 March 1787) was an early modern German composer and music curator who served as princess-abbess of Quedlinburg. She was a princess of Prussia as the daughter of Frederick William I of Prussia and the sister of Frederick the Great. Princess Anna Amalia of Prussia was born on 9 November 1723 in Berlin, Kingdom of Prussia as the 12th child and 7th daughter of King Frederick William I (1688–1740) and his wife, born Princess Sophia Dorothea of Hanover (1687–1757). She had 13 siblings, 10 of whom survived infancy, including the future Frederick the Great (1712–1786). The Prussian royal children were raised in Berlin, where they lived in the Royal Palace (Königliches Schloss; today Berlin Palace/Berliner Schloss), but they also regularly spent time in the king's favourite residence, a jagdschloss ("hunting lodge") in Königs Wusterhausen. Amalia was musically inclined, just like Crown Prince Frederick, but her formal instruction was only possible after the death of their abusive father who considered music to be decadent. Frederick William had an unpredictable temper, often dragging her across a room by her hair in a rage. Amalia's childhood was overshadowed by her father: described as an uneducated, unpolished and spartan soldier, he was an alcoholic whose favourite hobby was smoking pipes with commoners, an extremely pious and narrow-minded Calvinist who loved his wife and was faithful to her, but behaved violently towards his whole family, courtiers, and anyone who upset him. He preferred a simple life and only enjoyed German food and culture, detesting everything French. He thought that women are for breeding only and have to be completely submissive to their husbands. On the other hand, Queen Sophia Dorothea was a well-educated and ambitious woman who enjoyed theatre and balls and loved French culture and fashion. She entrusted the care of her children to a French staff, to which the king could not object as French was the language of international diplomacy.
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