Eric Stenbock: The Egg of the Albatross

Northern royal albatross on the Otago Peninsula – from

This is the 300th post of Agapeta, and I will present here something very special.

Eric Stenbock published in 1894 a collection of 7 short studies, Studies of Death, subtitled Romantic Tales. As indicated by the title, most of these stories are macabre, ending in the death of some protagonists. For a hundred years this book was quite forgotten, and almost unobtainable, until the Durtro publishing house republished it in 1996, adding to it the short story “The Other Side: A Breton Legend,” which had originally been published separately in The Spirit Lamp (Vol. IV, No. 2 June 1893). CONTINUE READING / CONTINUER LA LECTURE…


Moll & Mencher: I Want a Little Girl

“I Want a Little Girl” is a famous jazz song, ranking 360 among jazz standards according to Written by Billy Moll and composed by Murray Mencher in 1930, it has for over 70 years been interpreted by many famous musicians, in various musical styles: jazz, soul, country and blues. CONTINUE READING / CONTINUER LA LECTURE…

Drifting Down, by Joseph Ashby-Sterry

Harry Furniss – Joseph Ashy-Sterry (c.1910) -from NPG

The poems in Boudoir Ballads have shown the unending love of Ashby-Sterry for young girls. But the poet had another passion: rivers, boats and rowing. In 1913 he published The River Rhymer, a collection of verses on this topic.

Some of his poems combine both passions, telling about a young girl loved on a river, and indeed there were a few in Boudoir Ballads. I have selected three love poems from The River Rhymer, here is the first one. CONTINUE READING / CONTINUER LA LECTURE…

Eric Stenbock: Drinking song

Eric Stenbock -from Strange Flowers on WordPress

Count Eric Stenbock is a lesser-known ‘Decadent’ writer. In his short lifetime, he published three short collections of poetry, Love, Sleep & Dreams (1881), Myrtle, Rue and Cypress (1883) and The Shadow of Death (1894), a collection of short stories, Studies of Death (1894), and a separate short story, “The Other Side: A Breton Legend,” in The Spirit Lamp (Vol. IV, No. 2 June 1893). CONTINUE READING / CONTINUER LA LECTURE…

Le génie enfant

Quand l’enfance meurt, ses cadavres sont appelés adultes et ils entrent dans la société, un des noms plus polis de l’enfer. C’est pourquoi nous redoutons les enfants, même si nous les aimons, ils nous montrent l’état de notre décomposition.
(When childhood dies, its corpses are called adults and they enter society, one of the politer names of hell. That is why we dread children, even if we love them, they show us the state of our decay.)
Brian W. Aldiss, cité dans le Manchester Guardian (31 Décembre 1977)

Depuis des millénaires, on considère les enfants comme incompétents et dénués de discernement, au contraire des adultes. Ce jugement, plus politique que scientifique, sert à justifier l’autorité des adultes sur les enfants, qui s’exerce en toute chose. Je vais prendre le contre-pied de l’opinion dominante, défendue ardemment par tous ceux qui s’accrochent à leur pouvoir, et exalter le génie de l’enfance. CONTINUE READING / CONTINUER LA LECTURE…

Pet’s Punishment, by Joseph Ashby-Sterry

Angelo Cozzi – Anna – from Pigtails in Paint

In this poem devoted to a disobedient little girl, one sees how Ashby-Sterry viewed younger girls in a much different way than the teenagers he loved tenderly. He speaks of her in a patronising way, calls her ‘pet’, and threatens her with an insignificant caricature of punishment, in particular of parental violence, using instruments such as feathers, roses or kisses. CONTINUE READING / CONTINUER LA LECTURE…