The book Den dolda kvinnomakten

According to co-author Dick Harrison, Den dolda kvinnomakten (Power in Disguise) concerns the largest blank spot in Swedish history. For centuries, women have been excluded from studying at universities, voting, and professions. Since women were minors, their names were rarely written in documents. 

However, this did not stop the chatelaines of Skarhult Castle. They show how the obstacles of their time could be overcome. For half a millennia, they ran the estates – sometimes in luxury, sometimes under great personal hardship. A number of famous historians and authors give new life to these women’s captivating destinies, from an ostracised waitress to an eccentric queen. Together, they help fill in the blank spot regarding women’s history, and discard the myth about Sweden lacking female role models.

The book and its new research discoveries is the basis for the exhibition Power in Disguise at Skarhult Castle. 

Dick Harrison
Professor of history at Lund University

Svante Norrhem
Professor of history at Umeå University

Eva Helen Ulvros
Professor of history at Lund University

Carin Bergström
Docent of history and superintendent at Kgl Husgerådskammaren

Angela Rundquist 
PhD in ethnology at Stockholm University

Peter Ullgren
Docent of history at Linköping University

Alexandra von Schwerin
Project manager for Power in Disguise

Den dolda kvinnomakten – 500 år på Skarhults slott

Photographer: Ralf Turander   Publisher: Atlantis AB   Place of publication: Stockholm  Year: 2014

“Dansen med Rud’erne”, from the beginning of the 17th century, illustrates the descendants of Mette Rosenkrantz. Two of these women, Birgitte Rosensparre (to the left) and Mette Corfitzdatter Rud (the middle to the left) have for a long time been hidden in Skarhult’s history.