Ernest Dowson’s last text: The Princess of Dreams

Shwidkiy Andrey - The princess of dreams (2003) - from

Shwidkiy Andrey – The princess of dreams (2003) – from

Ernest Dowson’s collection of poems Decorations: in Verse and Prose, published in 1899, ends with 5 poems in prose. The first is The Fortunate Islands. Then three of them are included in a selection by The New Formalist: Markets (after an old Nursery Rhyme), Absinthia Taetra and The Visit; note that in the latter, the sentence “I have wanted you all my life” has been changed into “I have waited for you all my life.” CONTINUE READING…


R. Thurston Hopkins: A London phantom

London fog - from

London fog – from

As it describes Ernest Dowson’s look and behaviour, this strange text has been included in the edition by Flower & Maas of Dowson’s letters. The ghost-like appearance of a repulsive man who seems a living dead carrying mould from his own grave, but who also notices every movement of Dowson and Thurston, seems quite surrealistic. But it is also a dire testimony to the poverty and misery that existed in London at the end of the 19th century.

This text relating events at the end of the 1890’s is undated, but it mentions the 1932 film Cynara directed by King Vidor, it was thus written more than 30 years after the incident.  CONTINUE READING…

Ernest Dowson: The Fortunate Islands

Edward Matthew Hale - The Mermaid's Rock - from

Edward Matthew Hale – The Mermaid’s Rock – from

Dowson’s collection of poems Decorations (1899) contained verses, which were reproduced in The Poems and Prose of Ernest Dowson, With a Memoir by Arthur Symons (1905), see the Project Gutenberg Ebook, and in modern Internet collections such as The Poems of Ernest Dowson @ ELCore.Net. It is not well-known that the collection ended with five poems in prose. They seem to have been written in June 1899, while Dowson was giving the last touch to the publication; indeed he mentions them in two letters to his publisher Leonard Smithers dated that month (see The Letters of Ernest Dowson, no. 397 and 398, pages 414–415). These five short texts are full of sadness and pessimism. Indeed, Dowson was deeply disappointed with his family because of disputes over the inheritance from his deceased parents, his heart was broken as his beloved Adelaide had married another man, and he was sick with tuberculosis, which would kill him a few months later. CONTINUE READING…

Adelaide, the love in the life and poetry of Ernest Dowson, Part I

 Ernest Dowson by Charles Edward Conder, pencil (c. 1890s) - National Portrait Gallery

Ernest Dowson by Charles Edward Conder, pencil (c. 1890s) – National Portrait Gallery

In two previous articles, Ernest Dowson and the Cult of Minnie Terry (in Pigtails in Paint) and Ernest Dowson and the ages of woman (in this blog), I told that in his youth Ernest Dowson worshipped little girls, in particular the child actress Minnie Terry. But this infatuation remained somewhat on the surface, it did not really move his soul. Indeed, it vanished as soon as he met the true passion of his life, Adelaide Foltinowicz, a girl he nicknamed “Missie” or “Missy”. CONTINUE READING…


Images from readers

Riet Vandecasteele - Schoolmeisjes met fiets (1992) - from

Riet Vandecasteele – Schoolmeisjes met fiets (1992) – from

Following my post Poetry by readers, I will renew my tribute to readers of Agapeta, this time by giving links to some of their articles that I consider remarkable for the beauty of an included image, or for having a link to wonderful images. By reader, I mean here any blogger who follows Agapeta or has clicked “like” on a post or has written a comment after it. Sorry, I cannot present any beautiful work by someone who does not have a blog address. There are also many readers who remain invisible to me, since they do not perform any of the actions (like, comment or follow) that bring them to my notice. CONTINUE READING…

Brooke Boothby: Elegy

Hans Zatzka - Girl with butterfly - from

Hans Zatzka – Girl with butterfly – from

In 1796, Brooke Boothby published Sorrows. Sacred to the Memory of Penelope, a collection of poems in memory of his deceased daughter Penelope. In two previous posts I transcribed 7 of the 24 sonnets it contains. Now I reproduce one of its two elegies. In this sad poem, Boothby longs to die and to have his body deposited by a friend into Penelope’s tomb, so that his ashes can mix with hers. Then, being rid of his body, he imagines his daughter greeting him in heaven, taking him by the hand and crowning him with a wreath of flowers. CONTINUE READING…