rushed work that was not built to last for very long. Steen was brought to a sudden stop, when he was diagnosed with leukaemia. He spent a year in the hospital, and when he exited, weighing less than he did in his early teens, he asked himself, “do I want to spend the rest of my life working on buildings that don’t last and that don’t inspire?” He decided no, he didn’t, and so he got a job at Kronborg.”
“I also met Heidi the Painter, who had an equally gripping story. A tomboy since she was a kid, she had been most comfortable among boys and brothers and other craftsmen. I used to study history, so Heidi reminded me of Caroline Mathilde, imprisoned right here at Kronborg just a few hundred years ago, and known in the public for wearing men’s clothes. That made me wonder if I could link the craftsmen at Kronborg to stories from Danish history that also happened right here. And I started interviewing.”
“The more people I met, the more astonished I became. It was just one great story after the other: one person was in an airplane crash and decided to completely change her life. Another spent his youth here at Kronborg because his father became a castle guard. A third was a former millionaire who lost his fortune during the economic recession of the 1980s. The cleaning lady is from China, she arrived at Kronborg way back in the day, and says she has now blended with Scandinavia, having two small light-haired daughters in a world she used to know absolutely nothing about.”
“I spoke to a photographer I had worked with before, Anders Espersen Marlow. He started taking pictures, and the project just kept growing. Today it has turned into a 304-page coffee table book with gold lettering, watercolors, and quality binding. We just couldn’t bear to turn it into a paperback.