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Snoilsky, Carl Johan Gustaf, Count

SNOILSKY, CARL JOHAN GUSTAF, COUNT (1841-1903), Swedish poet, was born at Stockholm on the 8th of September 1841. He was educated at the Clara School, and in 1860 became a student at Upsala. He was trained for diplomacy, which he quitted for work at the Swedish Foreign Office. As early as 1861, under the pseudonym of " Sven Trost," he began to print poems, and he soon became the centre of the brilliant literary society of the capital. In 1862 he published a collection of lyrics called Orchideer (" Orchids "). During 1864 and 1865 he was in Madrid and Paris on diplomatic missions. It was in 1869, when he first collected his Dikter under his own name, that Snoilsky took rank among the most eminent contemporary poets. His 3 Though this word is clearly not intended as a nickname, such as is the prefix which custom has applied to the Daw, Pie, Redbreast, Titmouse or Wren, one can only guess at its origin or meaning. It may be, as in Jackass, an indication of sex, for it is a popular belief that the Jack-Snipe is the male of the common species; or, again, it may refer to the comparatively small size of the bird, as the " jack " in the game of bowls is the smallest of the balls used, and as fishermen call the smaller Pikes Jacks.

4 His account was published by Hewitson in May 1855 (Eggs Br. Birds, 3rd ed., ii. pp. 356-358).

6 The so-called Painted Snipes, forming the genus Rhynchaea, demand a few words. Four species have been described, natives respectively of S. America, Africa, India with China, and Australia. In all of these it appears that the female is larger and more brilliantly coloured than the male, and in the Australian species she is further distinguished by what in most birds is emphatically a masculine property, though its use is here unknown namely, a complex trachea, while the male has that organ simple. He is also believed to undertake the duty of incubation.

Sonneter in 1871 increased his reputation. Then, for some years, Snoilsky abandoned poetry, and devoted himself to the work of the Foreign Office and to the study of Numismatics. In 1876, however, he published a translation of the ballads of Goethe. Snoilsky had in 1876 been appointed keeper of the records, and had succeeded Bishop Genberg as one of the eighteen of the Swedish Academy. But in 1879 he resigned all his posts, and left Sweden abruptly for Florence with the Baroness RuuthPiper, whom he married in 1880. Count Snoilsky sent home in 1 88 1 a volume of Nya Dikter (New Poems). Two other volumes of Dikter appeared in 1883 and 1887, and 1807; Savonarola, a poem, in 1883, and Hvitafi-un (" The White Lady ") in 1885. In 1886 he collected his poems dealing with national subjects as Svenska bilder (2nd ed., 1895), which ranks as a Swedish classic. In 1891 he returned to Stockholm, and was appointed principal librarian of the Royal Library. He died at Stockholm on the 19th ot May 1903. His literary influence in Sweden was very great ; he always sang of joy and liberty and beauty, and in his lyrics, more than in most modern verse, the ecstasy of youth finds expression. He is remarkable, also, fcr the extreme delicacy and melodiousness of his verse-forms.

His Samlade dikter were collected (Stockholm, 5 vols.) in 1903-1904.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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