Navarana’s death and burial

Navarana’s grave – from

In a previous post I narrated how in 1911 the Danish explorer and ethnologist Peter Freuchen, then aged 25, married a 13-year-old Inuit girl, Navarana. They had a son, Mequsaq, and a daughter, Pipaluk, born in 1916 and 1918 respectively. CONTINUE READING / CONTINUER LA LECTURE…


George Gordon Byron: To Ianthe

Drawn by R. Westall and engraved by W. Finden – Lady Charlotte Harley as Ianthe (1833) – from Wikimedia Commons

Lord Byron’s long poem Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage was published between 1812 and 1818, the first two Cantos in 1812, the third in 1816 and the fourth in 1818, and each edition added some new material. The seventh edition appeared on February 1, 1814, with nine poems added to the twenty already published, and a poem titled “To Ianthe” was prefixed to the First Canto. Written in the autumn of 1812, it was dedicated to Lady Charlotte Harley. CONTINUE READING / CONTINUER LA LECTURE…

Peter Freuchen marries Navarana

Navarana and Peter Freuchen in Thule (1916-1917) - Photo: Arktisk Institut

Navarana and Peter Freuchen in Thule (1916-1917) – Photo: Arktisk Institut

The Danish explorer and ethnologist Peter Freuchen (1886–1957) is famous for exploring the Arctic, in particular with his colleague and friend Knud Rasmussen (1879–1933). He lived many years in North-West Greenland, trading with Inuits, befriending them and adopting their way of life. In 1911 he married an Inuit girl, Navarana. Being born around 1898, she was thus aged approximately 13 at their marriage, while he was 25-year-old. Most biographies avoid mentioning this detail, referring to her as an “Inuit woman”. But in his 1935 book Arctic Adventure: My Life in the Frozen North he first mentions her as a “little girl,” and just after their marriage as “my little wife,” and in the 1961 book Peter Freuchen’s Book of the Eskimos edited by his widow Dagmar, he refers to her as a “little girl, just reaching the marriageable age,” but he also mentions that “Eskimo girls marry so very young that a girl will often continue to play with the other children right up to the time of her first pregnancy.CONTINUE READING / CONTINUER LA LECTURE…

Gertrude Chataway, Lewis Carroll’s forgotten child-friend

Lewis Carroll - Gertrude Chataway, lying on sofa (c.1876) - Harry Ransom Center, The University of Texas at Austin

Lewis Carroll – Gertrude Chataway, lying on sofa (c.1876) – Harry Ransom Center, The University of Texas at Austin

Everyone knows about Lewis Carroll’s friendship with Alice Pleasance Liddell, who inspired the main character in his famous books Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass; indeed, after a rowing boat travelling during which Carroll regaled Alice and her two sisters with a fantastic story of a girl named Alice who had fallen into a rabbit-hole, she asked him to write it down, and so came Alice’s Adventures Under Ground, the initial version of the first book. CONTINUE READING / CONTINUER LA LECTURE…

Kids have gifts — when one trusts them

Russian TV - Bella Devyatkina

Russian TV – Bella Devyatkina

All too often, adults think that children by their nature should be doing childish things and remaining in their childish world, rather than imitating adults and their activities; this is the motto “let kids be kids.” Thus they are left in ignorance of what one considers as “beyond their age,” and if they show too much interest in such “beyond” things and inquire too much about them, they will be answered “don’t touch,” “stay away,” “this is not of your age,” “you are too young for that” or “anyway you can’t understand.” This makes future adults who will be ignorant, backward, immature and dependent on authority. CONTINUE READING / CONTINUER LA LECTURE…


A reader’s discovery

In Agapeta I have used three pictures of an Asian girl to illustrate posts (first, second and third); moreover the third one appears in the blog header and is my Gravatar. I had found them on Internet in July 2014 (probably on a Tumblr page), but I did not remember where. Several readers have complimented me on my choice, and even one of them fell in love with her.

One reader held a blog about girls entitled Copine 1 and 2; it consisted mainly of “random posts” giving, after a short introductory text, many photographs of beautiful little girls; in some sense, it was a successful girl fashion magazine (it has been suspended by WordPress). But in a post dated 28 November 2015, he revealed that he found the origin of the pictures and the name of the girl. She is called Mai Vi, she was photographed by Duy Anh Phan (also called Doak Phan), the three photographs can be found (in various sizes) on one of his Flickr pages.

Therefore I award this reader the Agapeta trophy:

Agapeta Equidem Illuminat Omnia Ubique (Agapeta surely illuminates everything everywhere and always)

Agapeta Equidem Illuminat Omnia Ubique (Agapeta surely illuminates everything everywhere and always)

[Updated 3rd December 2015.]


Update on Eva Edit Weinberger

The post After Many Years gave the story of Eva Edit Weinberger, a little Hungarian girl gassed in Auschwitz in June 1944, at age 6. It was based on Judith Kalman’s Nazi War-Crime Trial Testimony presented at the trial of Oskar Gröning, the bookkeeper of Auschwitz.

Judith Kalman made on July 8 a final statement for the Trial of Oskar Gröning.

The article Ein Leben, aus dem Tod geboren, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, May 6, 2015, gave an uncropped image of the photograph of Eva at age 4; I reproduce it here:

Full image of Eva Edit Weinberger at age 4 (1942)

Full image of Eva Edit Weinberger at age 4 (1942) – from FAZ

Most of Eva’s family had been caught in a Nazi raid and sent to die in Auschwitz. Zsuzsa Rochlitz was the only family member caught in that roundup who returned alive after the war. Judith Kalman has added to her Nazi War-Crime Trial Testimony a photograph of Zsuzsa with Eva as a baby:

Zsuzsa Rochlitz with brother-Peter-and baby Eva (1938)

Zsuzsa Rochlitz with brother Peter and baby Eva (1938) – from Judith Kalman

More information can be found in Judith Kalman’s blog and in the site devoted to the trial of Gröning.


Settela Steinbach painted by Francine Mayran

Francine Mayran - Anna Maria Settela Steinbach ll

Francine Mayran – Anna Maria Settela Steinbach ll

The psychiatrist and painter Francine Mayran has devoted her work to the memory of the main genocides of the 20th century (Armenia, Jews and Romas under Nazism, Rwanda). In particular some of her paintings deal with Roma and Jewish children victims of the Nazi Holocaust. From this collection I have selected the above painting of Settela Steinbach. It is an oil on canvas coated with concrete, size 30 × 40 cm2.

Settela, the girl with the headscarf

Rudolf Breslauer - Settela Steinbach (1944) - from Romedia Foundation

Rudolf Breslauer – Settela Steinbach (1944) – from Romedia Foundation

The above picture shows a girl looking terrified as she is locked inside a goods wagon in a train bound for the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp. She wears a headscarf made from a torn sheet, because the Nazis shaved her head under the pretext of preventing lice. It was taken from a film shot on 19 May 1944 in the Westerbork transit camp (The Netherlands) by a Jewish prisoner, Rudolf Werner Breslauer, on the orders of the commander of the camp, Albert Konrad Gemmeker. CONTINUE READING…

Gilbert O’Sullivan: Clair

Gilbert O'Sullivan and Clair Mills - from The Daily Mail, 5 February 2011

Gilbert O’Sullivan and Clair Mills – from The Daily Mail, 5 February 2011

The Irish singer-songwriter Gilbert O’Sullivan was popular in the early 1970’s. One of his greatest hits has been the song Clair, which ranked top in the UK Singles Chart for two weeks in November 1972. It tells his affectionate love for a little girl aged 3 or 4 whom he babysat, the daughter of his producer-manager Gordon Mills. He expresses his feelings straightforwardly, with a spontaneity that would be difficult to find in our epoch of fear and moralization: «Each time I leave you I feel I could die / Nothing means more to me than hearing you say / “I’m going to marry you / Will you marry me, Uncle Ray ?”» (O’Sullivan’s real forename was Raymond.) CONTINUE READING…



Amoris Est Imperare Orbi Universo

(To love it belongs to rule the whole world)

Agapeta exists now since six months, and this is its 50th post. The first one, dated 9 January, was the poem A Mosaic by Ernest Dowson. At that time, the blog style was restricted to bright text on a whole blue background, with the default black header bar giving the title and subtitle—the header image, red surrounding and right sidebar with Minnie Terry medallions were added in February.  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…