Stenbock, Stanislaus Eric, Count, 1860-1895

Alternative names
Dates:
Birth 1860-03-12
Death 1895-04-26
Britons
English

Biographical notes:

Author and poet, Count Stanislaus Erik Stenbock was born in 1860 in Cheltenham, England. His father died shorly after his birth, and upon the death of his grandfather he gained control of the family estate and title in Estonia where he lived from 1885 to 1887.

Stenbock attended Balliol College, Oxford, although he never completed a degree. There he met Frank Costelloe, who later became the first husband of Mary Berenson. Costelloe was his lawyer and advisor, and Stenbock was a close friend of the Costelloe family. In literary and social circles he was associated with Cénacle, a group of literary dandies.

He died in 1895, his physical and mental health having deteriorated. He was buried near his mother's home in Brighton, and his heart was sent to Estonia.

From the description of Papers, 1887-2002 (bulk 1887-1894). (Harvard University). WorldCat record id: 444735026

Stanislaus Eric Stenbock was the count of Bogesund. He was born in South West England (March 12, 1860), and was the only child of Lucy Sophia Frerichs, an English cotton heiress, and Count Erich Stenbock, a member of a Baltic German noble family with Swedish roots and vast estates in what is now Estonia.

Stenbock attended Balliol College, Oxford, although he never completed a degree. There he met Frank Costelloe, who later became the first husband of Mary Berenson. Costelloe was his lawyer and advisor, and Stenbock was a close friend of the Costelloe family. While at Oxford, Eric was deeply influenced by the homosexual Pre-Raphaelite artist and illustrator Simeon Solomon. He converted while at Oxford to Roman Catholicism, to the horror of his family, taking for himself the name Stanislaus. At the end of his life, he seemed to have developed a syncretist religion containing elements of Catholicism, Buddhism and idolatry.

He inherited his family’s estates in 1885 and returned to live in his manor house at Kolkbriefly. 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, as reported by Mary Costelloe, his business manager’s wife, who later married Bernard Berenson.

In his short life he published three slim volumes of poetry-Love, Sleep and Dreams, Myrtle, Rue and Cypress and The Shadow of Death-and one collection of short stories, Studies of Death. He also had a short lycanthropic tale, “The Other Side”, published in The Spirit Lamp, a journal edited by Oscar Wilde’s lover, Lord Alfred Douglas, and two translations of Balzac in Shorter Stories from Balzac. In literary and social circles he was associated with Cénacle, a group of literary dandies. He died in 1895 (April 26) as a result of his alcoholism and opium addiction. He was buried near his mother's home in Brighton, and his heart was sent to Estonia.

From the guide to the Papers, 1887-2002, (Biblioteca Berenson, Villa I Tatti - The Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies)

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SNAC ID:
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Subjects:

  • Mythology and religion
  • Theater--England
  • Cénacle group
  • Pre--Raphaelitism
  • Poems
  • Typescripts
  • Cénacle group
  • Manuscripts (for publication)
  • Pre--Raphaelitism--England
  • Theater

Occupations:

not available for this record

Places:

  • England (as recorded)