Audiobook: Studies of Death
Studies of Death
1 - Hylas
Count Stanislaus Eric Stenbock was an eccentric character to say the least. Maintaining a veritable zoo on his estate populated with the likes of a reindeer and a bear, he travelled with a dog, a monkey and a life-sized doll he nicknamed "The Little Count" and which he referred to as "his son". Before his untimely death at the age of 36 of cirrhosis of the liver due to his excessive alcoholism and opium addiction, Stenbock managed to publish three slim volumes of poetry, much of which was fixated on suicide, as well as this volume of short stories, Studies of Death. This short collection of tales of death in all its various forms featuring occultism, vampires, jilted lovers and sea sprites among other things is seen as not only an early curiosity of occult and weird literature but also contains early queer themes as well, most notably in the stories "Hylas" and "The True Story of a Vampire". While one would expect much of a collection titled Studies in Death to fixate on the grim side of human nature, we do see a few peeks at death of a more hopeful nature as well, in addition to the bleak and tragic. (Summary by Ben Tucker)
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