The sexually voracious Kirsten Munk (1598-1658), consort of King Christian 4th of Denmark, was terrified that, first, her lover Otto Ludwig would leave her, and then that she would lose her beloved handmaiden Emilia. She was incapable of empathy and showed no love for her children. She threw tantrums when things didn’t go her way and veered from profound love and devotion to bitter hatred when her significant others disappointed her.
Remind you of anyone?
I can’t testify to the historical truth, but it’s how Kirsten appears in Rose Tremain’s Music and Silence (1999), an August book-group selection. The sort of historical novel I don’t often read, it concerns the intrigues of the Danish court. I couldn’t help noticing Kirsten’s fear of abandonment, addictive personality, rages, lack of empathy, difficulty with being a mother, and dichotomous and distorted thinking — BPD symptoms all.
Kirsten’s strength and devious intelligence are almost admirable, but by and large she’s wickedly selfish and salacious. A Renaissance Alex Forrest.
There’s no hope — and no real humanity — in Kirsten. Which is another way of saying that identifying someone, even a literary character, as having borderline traits is usually stigmatizing.