Eric Stenbock

Count Eric Stanislaus (or Stanislaus Eric) Stenbock (12 March [O.S. 29 February] 1860 at Thirlestanine Hall (Cheltenham) – 26 April [O.S. 14 April] 1895 at Withdeane Hall in Brighton) was a Baltic Swedish poet and writer of macabre fantastic fiction.

Eric Stenbock
Eric Stenbock, writer of decadent and macabre fiction and poetry


Stenbock was the count of Bogesund and the heir to an estate near Kolga in Estonia. He was the son of Lucy Sophia Frerichs, a Manchester cotton heiress, and Count Erich Stenbock, of a distinguished Swedish noble family of the Baltic German House of nobility in Reval. The family rose to prominence in the service of King Gustav Vasa: Catherine Stenbock was the third and last consort of Gustav Vasa and Queen consort of Sweden between 1552 and 1560. Stenbock's great-grandfather was Baron Friedrich von Stuart (1761–1842) from Courland. Immanuel Kant was a great-great-granduncle of Stenbock.[1]

Stenbock's father died suddenly while he was one year old; his properties were held in trust for him by his grandfather Magnus. Eric's maternal grandfather died while Eric was quite young, also, in 1866, leaving him another trust fund.

Stenbock attended Balliol College in Oxford but never completed his studies. While at Oxford, Eric was deeply influenced by the homosexual Pre-Raphaelite artist and illustrator Simeon Solomon. He is also said to have had a relationship with the composer and conductor Norman O'Neill and with other "young men".[2]

In Oxford, Stenbock also converted to Roman Catholicism taking for himself the name Stanislaus. Some years later Eric also admitted to having tried a different religion every week in Oxford. At the end of his life, he seemed to have developed a syncretist religion containing elements of Catholicism, Buddhism and idolatry.

In 1885, Count Magnus died, upon which Stenbock, as the oldest living male relative, acceded to the status of Count and to the possession of the family's estates in Estonia. Eric traveled to and lived in Kolga for a year and a half; he returned to England in the summer of 1887, during which time he sank deeper into alcoholism and drug addiction.

Stenbock behaved eccentrically. He kept snakes, lizards, salamanders and toads in his room, and had a "zoo" in his garden containing a reindeer, a fox, and a bear. When he traveled, he invariably brought with him a dog, a monkey, and a life-sized doll. This doll he referred to as "le Petit Comte" ("the little Count") and told everyone that it was his son; he insisted it be brought to him daily, and—when it was absent—he asked about its health. (Stenbock's family believed an unscrupulous Jesuit had been given large amounts of money by the Count for the "education" of this doll.)


Stenbock lived in England most of his life, and wrote his works in the English language. He published a number of books of verse during his lifetime, including Love, Sleep, and Dreams, 1881, and Rue, Myrtle, and Cypress (1883). In 1894, Stenbock published The Shadow of Death, his last volume of verse, and Studies of Death, a collection of short stories.


On 26 April 1895 Stenbock died from cirrhosis of the liver at his mother's home, Withdeane Hall, near Brighton; his death went unnoticed in the press, aside from a brief mention in The Times (30 April 1895). Stenbock had named More Adey as his literary executor. On 1 May the burial service was held in the Brighton Catholic cemetery.[3]


The band Current 93 made an album of the same name of incidental music inspired by Stenbock's Faust story. Stenbock's legacy is supported by the invitation-only Stenbock Society, notable like Stenbock himself for its infrequent activity.

Marc Almond and Michael Cashmore released the two-track CD Gabriel & The Lunatic Lover in 2008 with two songs based on Stenbock's poems by the same name. This was followed in 2011 by the album Feasting with Panthers which included two more adaptations, "Sonnet XI" and "The Song of the Unwept Tear". All four poems were adapted and translated by Jeremy Reed.



  • Love, sleep & dreams : a volume of verse. - Oxford : A. Thomas Shrimpton & Son ; Simpkin Marshall & Co, 1881?
  • Myrtle, rue and cypress : a book of poems, songs and sonnets. - London : [privately printed by] Hatchards, 1883
  • The shadow of death : poems, songs, and sonnets. - London : The Leadenhall Press, 1893

Short story collections

  • Studies of death : romantic tales (London : David Nutt, 1894)

Biographies and other

  • Adlard, John. Stenbock, Yeats and the Nineties ; with an hitherto unpublished essay on Stenbock by Arthur Symons and a bibliography by Timothy d'Arch Smith. - London : Cecil & Amelia Woolf, 1969
  • Costelloe, Mary. Christmas with Count Stenbock / [edited by] John Adlard ; frontispiece by Max Beerbohm. -London : Enitharmon, 1980. - Contains letters by Mary Costelloe
  • Reed, Jeremy. A hundred years of disappearance : Count Eric Stenbock. - [Great Britain? : J. Reed, 1995]


  1. ^ Baron Friedrich Stuart, a mysterious man Archived 2011-07-18 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ Gordon, Joan; Hollinger, Veronica (1997), Blood Read: The Vampire As Metaphor in Contemporary Culture, University of Pennsylvania Press, p. 177, ISBN 0-8122-1628-8
  3. ^

External links

1893 in literature

This article presents lists of the literary events and publications in 1893.

1895 in literature

This article presents lists of the literary events and publications in 1895.

April 26

April 26 is the 116th day of the year (117th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 249 days remaining until the end of the year.

Current 93

Current 93 are a British experimental music group, working since the early 1980s in folk-based musical forms. The band was founded in 1982 by David Tibet (né David Michael Bunting, renamed 'Tibet' by Genesis P-Orridge some time prior to forming the group).

Decadent movement

The Decadent movement was a late-19th-century artistic and literary movement, centered in Western Europe, that followed an aesthetic ideology of excess and artificiality. The visual artist Félicien Rops's body of work and Joris-Karl Huysmans's novel Against Nature (1884) are considered the prime examples of the decadent movement. It first flourished in France and then spread throughout Europe and to the United States. The movement was characterized by self-disgust, sickness at the world, general skepticism, delight in perversion and employment of crude humor and a belief in the superiority of human creativity over logic and the natural world.

Feasting with Panthers

Feasting with Panthers is the sixteenth solo studio album by the British singer/songwriter Marc Almond. The album is credited to Almond and Michael Cashmore, of Current 93 and Nature and Organisation, with both given equal billing. The album was released by Strike Force Entertainment, part of Cherry Red Records, on 30 May 2011.

Friedrich von Stuart

Baron Friedrich von Stuart (1761-1842) was a Courland nobleman and landowner.

He was married to Henrietta Kant, a niece of Immanuel Kant.They are an ancestors of Count Eric Stenbock, ambassador Henning von Wistinghausen, Baron Dmitri Stuart, an ambassador of Russia to Romania and Denmark and Renars Kaupers.

Leadenhall Press

The Leadenhall Press was founded by Andrew White Tuer (1838–1900) as the publishing division of the London partnership of Field & Tuer, following a move to 50 Leadenhall Street in 1868. The firm began as job printers, stationers, and manufacturers in 1862, when Tuer joined with Abraham Field (1830–1891), an established producer of registers and log books. Among their early successes was the invention by Tuer of Stickphast Paste, a clean, vegetable-based product that quickly became the standard office paste (and which was still being manufactured under new ownership as late as the mid 20th century).

Profits from this and other inventions allowed Tuer, the more adventurous partner, to pursue his publishing ambitions. From the beginning, the Leadenhall Press output reflected his imagination, curiosity, and interest in the full range of printing and book production techniques.

The Leadenhall Press imprint first appeared in 1872 in the firm's trade publication, Paper & Printing Trades Journal, as ‘Ye Leadenhall Workes.’ Field & Tuer occasionally printed books for other publishers and published sporadically beginning in 1869, but it was not until ten years later that the first official book in the Leadenhall Press catalogue appeared: Tuer’s own Luxurious Bathing. The following year, Tuer launched the influential Printers' International Specimen Exchange, an annual survey collection of examples printed and submitted by printers and their employees.

Under Tuer's guidance, the Leadenhall Press became an innovative force during the 1880s, issuing as many as 40 books a year, including trade titles for as little as sixpence, as well as limited editions costing several guineas. Although perhaps best known today for children's book reprints, chapbook revivals illustrated by Joseph Crawhall, and several of elaborate productions of Tuer's own works, the Leadenhall Press catalogue included publications on a wide range of subjects for all tastes. Although the "cheap editions" of some titles could be plain and undistinguished, great care was given to the design and printing of many of the series books that were issued only in inexpensive formats.

The Leadenhall Press published many prominent (and also many forgotten) writers and artists of the time. Wilfrid Meynell acted as a literary advisor, writing and editing several books under the pseudonym ‘John Oldcastle,’ and the Press published the first books by Jerome K. Jerome. Other authors included Andrew Lang, Egyptologist W. M. Flinders Petrie, Lady Florence Dixie (feminist sister of the infamous Marquess of Queensberry), Max O'Rell, Louis Fagan of the British Museum, J. A. Fuller Maitland, Grant Allen, and Count Eric Stenbock. Oscar Wilde appeared in the poetry collection A Book of Jousts in 1888, and his mother, Lady Jane Wilde contributed to the periodical Bairns' Annual.

The Press quickly earned a reputation for excellence in reproducing art; the first edition of Songs of the North (1885) included works by Burne-Jones, Whistler, and Frederick Sandys, among others. In addition to Joseph Crawhall, other artists who illustrated Leadenhall Press books included Randolph Caldecott, Georgie Gaskin, Tristram Ellis, William Luker Jr., and Punch cartoonists Phil May, Charles Keene and Linley Sambourne.

In 1892, after the retirement and death of Abraham Field, the company was incorporated as The Leadenhall Press, Ltd. Fewer books were published during the 1890s, but the quality remained high, often reflecting Tuer's antiquarian and collecting interests. Publishing operations ceased a few years after Tuer’s death in 1900, when the Press reverted largely to its original job printing and stationery business until 1927, when it was dissolved following the death of Mrs. Tuer. Between 1879 and 1905, the Leadenhall Press issued over 400 titles, not counting several different editions of some books.

List of Estonian poets

A list of notable Estonian poets:


Marc Almond

Peter Mark Sinclair "Marc" Almond, (born 9 July 1957) is an English singer-songwriter and musician. Almond first began performing and recording in the synthpop/new wave duo Soft Cell. He has also had a diverse career as a solo artist. His collaborations include a duet with Gene Pitney on the 1989 UK number one single "Something's Gotten Hold of My Heart". Almond has sold over 30 million records worldwide. He spent a month in a coma after a near-fatal motorcycle accident in 2004 and later became a patron of the brain trauma charity Headway.He was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2018 New Year Honours for services to arts and culture.

March 12

March 12 is the 71st day of the year (72nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 294 days remaining until the end of the year.

Norman O'Neill

Norman Houston O'Neill (14 March 1875 – 3 March 1934) was an English composer and conductor of Irish background who specialized largely in works for the theatre. He studied in London with Arthur Somervell and with Iwan Knorr at the Hoch Conservatory in Frankfurt from 1893 to 1897. His studies there were facilitated by Eric Stenbock. He belonged to the Frankfurt Group, a circle of composers who studied at Hoch's Conservatory in the late 1890s.

He was born in Kensington, London, the youngest son of the Irish painter George Bernard O'Neill and Emma Stuart Callcott. He married Adine Berthe Maria Ruckert (29 July 1875 – 17 February 1947) on 2 July 1899 in Paris, France. Adine was a celebrated pianist and music teacher in her own right.

O'Neill was associated with the Haymarket Theatre. His works include over fifty sets of incidental music for plays, including many by Shakespeare (Hamlet, King Lear, Julius Caesar, Macbeth, The Merchant of Venice, Henry V and Measure for Measure), J. M. Barrie (A Kiss for Cinderella and Mary Rose), and Maurice Maeterlinck (The Blue Bird). In 1910, he became the first British composer to conduct his own orchestral music on record, directing the Columbia Graphophone Company's house ensemble, the "Court Symphony Orchestra", in a suite taken from his Blue Bird music on two double-sided gramophone discs. He received personal congratulations from Sir Edward Elgar on his music for the innovative central ballet sequence of the 1924 revue "The Punch Bowl", which ran for over a year with O'Neill's contribution being widely singled out for praise in press coverage.O'Neill's works also include a number of symphonic suites and chamber music. He was treasurer of the Royal Philharmonic Society from 1918 until his death and taught harmony and composition at the Royal Academy of Music.When he died in 1934 he was cremated at Golders Green Crematorium, London, as was his wife in 1947. There is a plaque there in memory to both of them.

Robert Murray Gilchrist

Robert Murray Gilchrist (6 January 1867 – 1917) was an English novelist and author of regional interest books about the Peak District of north central England. He is best known today for his decadent and Gothic short fiction.

During his lifetime he published some 100 short stories, 22 novels, six story collections, and four non-fiction books.

Simeon Solomon

Simeon Solomon (9 October 1840 – 14 August 1905) was an English painter associated with the Pre-Raphaelites who was noted for his depictions of Jewish life and same-sex desire. He achieved notoriety after he was caught engaging in sexual activity with a man.


The Stenbock family is one of the families of the Swedish, Russian, and Baltic German nobility.

Notable members include:

Ebba Stenbock (15??–1614)

Catherine Stenbock (1535–1621)

Gustaf Otto Stenbock (1614–1685)

Magdalena Stenbock (1649–1727)

Hedvig Eleonora Stenbock (1658–1714)

Magnus Stenbock (1664–1717)

Eric Stenbock (1858–1895)

Valery Votrin

Valéry Votrin (Russian: Вале́рий Ге́нрихович Во́трин, born March 2, 1974) is a Belgian fiction writer of Russian origin. He writes in Russian and English (under the name Val Votrin).

Vampire literature

Vampire literature covers the spectrum of literary work concerned principally with the subject of vampires. The literary vampire first appeared in 18th-century poetry, before becoming one of the stock figures of gothic fiction with the publication of Polidori's The Vampyre (1819), which was inspired by the life and legend of Lord Byron. Later influential works include the penny dreadful Varney the Vampire (1847); Sheridan Le Fanu's tale of a lesbian vampire, Carmilla (1872) and the masterpiece of the genre: Bram Stoker's Dracula (1897). Some authors created a more "sympathetic vampire", with Varney being the first example, and in 1976 by Anne Rice in Interview with the Vampire.More recently the genre has been blended with science fiction motifs like aliens. Moreover, some modern vampires even feed on energy, rather than blood.

Weird fiction

Weird fiction is a subgenre of speculative fiction originating in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. John Clute defines weird fiction as a "Term used loosely to describe Fantasy, Supernatural Fiction and Horror tales embodying transgressive material". China Miéville defines weird fiction thus: "Weird Fiction is usually, roughly, conceived of as a rather breathless and generically slippery macabre fiction, a dark fantastic (“horror” plus “fantasy”) often featuring nontraditional alien monsters (thus plus “science fiction”)." Discussing the "Old Weird Fiction" published in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Jeffrey Andrew Weinstock says, "Old Weird fiction utilises elements of horror, science fiction and fantasy to showcase the impotence and insignificance of human beings within a much larger universe populated by often malign powers and forces that greatly exceed the human capacities to understand or control them." Weird fiction either eschews or radically reinterprets ghosts, vampires, werewolves, and other traditional antagonists of supernatural horror fiction. Weird fiction is sometimes symbolised by the tentacle, a limb-type absent from most of the monsters of European folklore and gothic fiction, but often attached to the monstrous creatures created by weird fiction writers such as William Hope Hodgson, M. R. James, and H. P. Lovecraft. Weird fiction often attempts to inspire awe as well as fear in response to its fictional creations, causing

commentators like Miéville to say that weird fiction evokes a sense of the numinous. Although "weird fiction" has been chiefly used as a historical description for works through the 1930s, the term has also been increasingly used since the 1980s, sometimes to describe slipstream fiction that blends horror, fantasy, and science fiction.

Works based on Faust

Faust has inspired artistic and cultural works for over four centuries. The following lists cover various media to include items of historic interest, enduring works of high art, and recent representations in popular culture. The entries represent works that a reader has a reasonable chance of encountering rather than a complete catalog.

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