Gärdslösa Parish Parsonage and Church, 15 km south-east of Borgholm

Erik Johan Stagnelius (1793 - 1823), the son of a clergyman from Gärdslösa parish on the island of Öland, is the foremost romantic poet in Swedish language. He was born and grew up in the parsonage, one kilometre south of the church, as his father worked at Gärdslösa parish. In 1810 the father became bishop and the family moved to Kalmar, but Stagnelius always returned to his childhood's climes, both in reality and in his imagination.

Erik studied in Lund 1811, but the year after he moved to Uppsala to study and 1814 he graduated as assistant. 1815 he got an unpaid job in Stockholm as copyist, but he did not work much there. He suffered of a heart disease and the place as copyist was not inspiring. The tradition says that he became addicted to opium to get rid of the pain that the heart disease caused. He died in his home in Stockholm only 29 years old.

The church of Gärdslösa, a big tourist attraction, is mainly from 14 th century, with chalk frescos, the “noblest” of the Medieval Öland churches. Nearby the church a brook flows which is supposed to be “Silverbäcken” (the “Silvery Brook”) from his famous poem Näcken (“The Neck”, a water-sprite): “Never again the Neck / Will play in the Silvery Brook”. A memorial stone for Stagnelius was raised outside of the parsonage in Gärdslösa on Midsummer Day 1923. A monument on Maria cemetery in Stockholm marks the spot where Stagnelius' grave once was situated.

Paula Henrikson's introduction in Swedish: https://litteraturbanken.se/f%C3%B6rfattare/StagneliusEJ