Swedish Folk Figure. He has entered romantic mythology for his doomed romance with Elvira Madigan. The son of nobility, Edvard Sixten Sparre was born in Malmo, Sweden. After entering the Swedish Army and attaining the rank of lieutenant, he married Luitgard Adlercreutz in 1880. They had two children. Despite his family connections, Sparre's military career did not progress because of his gambling and other dissolute habits. In 1888 he met and fell in love with Elvira (real name Hedvig Jensen), a Danish acrobatic dancer with a traveling circus. They kept their obsessive affair a secret until the following year, when Sparre suddenly deserted his family and his post and fled with Elvira to Denmark. They stayed on the island of Taasinge for two weeks before their money ran out. On July 20, 1889, the couple packed a picnic basket and walked deep into the Neorreskov, a nearby forest. After having a final meal and making love for the last time, Sparre shot Elvira and then himself with his service revolver. They were buried together in the Landet Churchyard. Sparre left behind a final diary entry, which read: "When a man is born, people cheer; when a man dies, they cry - it should be the other way around". This tragic saga first gained popular currency with John Saxon's poem "The Ballad of Elvira Madigan", and was later the subject of an award-winning film, "Elvira Madigan" (1967), by Swedish director Bo Widerberg.
Bio by: Bobb Edwards