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Eric Stenbock (March 12, 1860 – April 26, 1895)

Count Eric Stanislaus (or Stanislaus Eric) Stenbock (12 March 1860 – 26 April 1895) was a Baltic German poet and writer of macabre fantastic fiction.

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 Baltic German noble family with Swedish roots which 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 great-great-granduncle of Count Eric Stenbock.

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".

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 "la Petite 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 that were good enough to be the subject of favourable comment by H. P. Lovecraft.

By 1895, he was heavily addicted to opium and alcohol and moved back to Brighton to convalesce at his mother's house, Withdeane Hall, on the London Road, where he seems to have spent a lot of time in his room with the curtains drawn, burning candles in front of images of Buddha and the poet Shelley. He died during a drunken argument with his stepfather, Sir Francis Mowatt, then Permanent Secretary of the Treasury. Stenbock was waving a poker and toppled over and killed himself on the fireplace.

He was buried at the Brighton Catholic Cemetery on May 1st "in the presence" (said the Brighton Examiner) "of a large number of relatives and friends". Before burial the heart was extracted and sent to Estonia, where it was placed among the Stenbock monuments in the church at Kusal. It was preserved in some fluid in a glass urn in a cupboard built into the wall of the church. At the time of his death, it was reported that his uncle and heir, far away in Esbia, saw an apparition of his tear-stained face at his study window.

Burial: Extra-Mural Cemetery, Brighton, East Sussex, England, Plot: Grave 31.259

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eric_Stenbock

Further Readings:

The True Story Of A Vampire & More: Cool Collectors Edition - Printed In Modern Gothic Fonts by Count Stanislaus Eric Stenbock
Paperback: 88 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace (August 27, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1441413375
ISBN-13: 978-1441413376
Amazon: The True Story Of A Vampire & More: Cool Collectors Edition - Printed In Modern Gothic Fonts

THIS IS A VAMPIRE AND WEREWOLF COOL COLLECTOR'S EDITION - PRINTED IN REALLY COOL MODERN GOTHIC AND CURSIVE FONTS THROUGHOUT. "THE TRUE STORY OF A VAMPIRE" IS A CLASSIC TALE OF THE MACABRE BY THE MASTER OF GOTHIC HORROR COUNT STENBOCK. "THE OTHER SIDE A BRETON LEGEND" (INCLUDED IN THIS BOOK) IS A CLASSIC WAREWOLF HORROR ROMANCE BY COUNT STENBOCK. Classic vampire and werewolf horror from Count Eric Stenbock. Includes - "The Other Side A Breton Legend" - werewolf horror romance.

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Tags: author: eric stenbock, gay classics
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