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Maria Skytte

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Maria Skytte

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Maria Skytte af Duderhof (died 1703) was a Swedish Baroness and Countess known for her unconventional life style.

She was the daughter of Baron Bengt Skytte and Christina Sparre and the niece of Vendela Skytte: Gustav Skytte and Christina Anna Skytte were her cousins. She was born sometime between 1636 and 1639. In 1664, she entered a long term relationship with riksråd Count Gustaf Adam Banér (1631-1681), the same year Banér married Katarina Lillie (1643-1667). Skytte lived openly with Banér, which was formally a crime and caused a national scandal which made them both infamous. When she accompanied him openly during his journeys around the country, they were publicly trialed. Maria Skytte was accused of having disguised herself as a male when she visited him in secrecy. which was also a crime at the time. This has attracted attention in gender studies, and Maria Skytte as well as Greta Benzelia has been regarded as an example of females posing as males when wishing to hide their identity. Banér was forced to swear before the court hovrätten that he had not consummated his relationship with Skytte sexually, after which he was warned and exiled from the royal court. After Banér was widowed in 1667 Skytte married him: the marriage was first declared non valid and Banér was declared exiled from the country for six years, but the couple managed to have it legalized.

Maria Skytte was portrayed in the novel Fribytaren på Östersjön by Viktor Rydberg.


Maria Skytte Wikipedia