A catalogue of Portraits of Enoch Soames
From the papers of Siegfried von Frieblisch, D.D.
by Stephen Calloway.
Only with the recent death of the great German polymath
and leading Soames scholar, Siegfried von Frieblisch of Potsdam, affectionately
known to generations of eager 1890s scholars as "Doktor Decadenz", did
it finally emerge that his long and no less eagerly anticipated catalogue
of the portraits of the poet Enoch Soames, though it had lain in manuscript
form for many years in the professor's celebrated library at Unter dem
Hügel, was in fact complete.
At the time that his papers came to be sorted
and appropriately deposited in the Archival Resource Center of the Department
of Catholic and Diabolist Studies at the University of Bangkok, the
city that had in more recent years become his beloved second home, it
rapidly became clear that here was to be found the single most important
archive of Soames material, and the crucial foundation upon which all
future Soames studies would necessarily rest. Henceforth, at least some
time spent in that numinous city would become essential for all those
seeking a true understanding of the milieu of Soames's London
of the 1890s.
From this priceless cache of material relating
to the fin-de-siècle period, the drafts of Frieblisch's
Soames Catalogue have been among the very first items to be disinterred
for publication; with only the most minor and pedantic of scholarly
interpolations, they have been faithfully translated to form the basis
of the present selection.