Aubrey Beardsley

Enoch Soames:
The Critical Heritage


The Calumny of Beerbohm
The Anxiety of Influence
New Light on Soames
Enoch’s Castle
In Praise of Christian Diabolism
Iconographia Fungosiana
Strange Growths
A Letter to the Editor
List of Illustrations
Le Diaboliste Catholique
Portrait Study of Enoch Soames
En Attendant
Crème de Menthe and Nicotine
A Man of Letters
Enoch Soames, Esq.
The Bad Homburg

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The Arms of a PoetEnoch Soames - The Critical Heritage
The Hat of Enoch Soames, by William Nicholson

The Bad Homburg ca. 1896.

Sir William Nicholson (1872-1936).
Colour woodcut from two blocks. 4.7 x 5.2 cm.
Signed with the artist's initials in the block, “W.N.”

Probably the unique woodblock impression of the design, also known in a lithographic version, intended as an illustration for Nicholson's long projected but ultimately unrealised project, The Book of Titfers. Other subjects were to have included Oscar Wilde's Billycock, the sealskin fedoras worn by W. B. Yeats and Arthur Symons during their visit to Sligo and the Aran Islands, and a turban reputedly sported by Leonard Smithers on the evening when he and Aubrey Beardsley first sampled haschich at the house of the Parisian writer and journalist, Gabriel de Lautrec.
    Soames's hat, which may actually have been of a darker shade than that depicted by Nicholson, is in all probability the same one abandoned by the poet on the night of 2 June 1897, according to an entry in the Catalogue of Unclaimed Hat-Check Stubs of the Café Royal. There it is recorded that a short handwritten note added to the original page by the restaurant's Mâitre d' some three weeks later reads, somewhat poignantly: “Mr Soames has not been in lately.”
     This is perhaps the fullest, as well as the final, contemporary reference to Soames which remains extant.

Enoch Soames