Ebba Maria De la Gardie was a poet, a lady-in-waiting, and a member of the educated elite of her time.
Ebba Maria De la Gardie was born at Tullgarn Castle in 1658. Her parents, Beata von Königsmarck and Pontus Fredrik De la Gardie, were members of two of the most prominent families in Sweden. Ebba Maria De la Gardie, along with her younger sister Johanna Eleonora De la Gardie, received a proper education. Both sisters were culturally active and they were also both writers. Ebba Maria De la Gardie wrote occasional poems, of which only a very small number have survived. The fact that several of the surviving poems were composed in German indicates that she was linguistically talented.
Ebba Maria De la Gardie socialised with the royal family. She was a lady-in-waiting and one of Queen Ulrika Eleonora the elder’s favourites and when the queen died in 1693 Ebba Maria De la Gardie authored a funeral poem. She exchanged poetry by correspondence with Crown Prince Karl (soon to be King Karl XII) and her wishes for his happiness have survived.
Ebba Maria De la Gardie had an interest in theatre which she shared with her sister and her cousins Aurora von Königsmarck and Amalia Wilhelmina von Königsmarck. Together they performed the play Iphigenie in 1864. The story unfolded against the background of the Trojan War and was written by the French playwright Jean Racine. The queen supported the performance of the play as well as the particular composition of the performing ensemble, namely an all-female cast of amateur actors.
Ebba Maria De la Gardie’s surviving written work does not reflect the attention she merited from her contemporaries from the educated elite. Her life was cut short, however, as she died in 1697, unmarried, and only aged 39. Ebba Maria De la Gardie was buried in Riddarholm church in Stockholm.