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A Rubaiyat parody to cheer the political gloom?

May 20, 2019

Charles Mugleston has sent us a topical contribution to the blog.  He comments:

An-other… election looms – so wondered if this wry, ripe and amusing poem might be of interest to your readers to help lighten the Brrrrexit gloom, humph’n  ha ?

It is the back page of an Omar Khayya’m Club London Menu of 1959 held at the Arts Club on November 24th.

This certainly brought a smile to our faces.  Thank you Charles!


Celebrate Omar Khayyam’s birthday

May 18, 2019

Today 18th May 2019 is the 971st anniversary of the birth of Omar Khayyam.  The famous astronomer, mathematician, philosopher, and (perhaps) poet was born in the city of Nishapur in eastern Iran.  In modern Iran, this day is formally celebrated as Omar Khayyam Day and this year we have world-wide recognition of the event by Google with the use of a picture of the famous man as their ‘Google Doodle’ on the main search page – see  Our thanks to Charles Mugleston and other friends who alerted us to Google’s action.  It has caused quite a flurry of internet and media interest in Khayyam and his work.

We send greetings to all the people world-wide who value the contributions of Khayyam, still of relevance in the 21st century.  Take a minute to remember a polymath whose work, and that attributed to him, inspired so many others, and join us in celebrating his birthday in an appropriate way.

More booklets on Rubaiyat Artists from Bob Forrest

May 16, 2019

In earlier posts, we have drawn attention of Bob Forrest’s excellent series of booklets which pull together his research on particular artists who have illustrated the Rubaiyat and the editions of their work.  For more information on the first six booklets in the series, see the links at the end of this post.*

Now Bob has produced another three booklets in this series.  These have only been distributed privately, but copies have been given to the main legal deposit libraries and some other libraries in the UK and can be consulted through them.  The new booklets available are as follows.

No.7  Augustus John (1878-1961) and the Romany Rubaiyat of John Sampson (1862-1931)

No.8  Fred Adlington (1886-1931)

No.9  Frank Chesworth (1867-1906) and the “Clarion” series of Omar Khayyam postcards.

The booklets are all very well produced, with many illustrations in colour as well as black and white.  They can be accessed via the following UK libraries.

·         the British Library,

·         the National Library of Scotland,

·         the National Library of Wales,

·         the Bodleian Libraries, Oxford,

·         the University Library, Cambridge,

·         the Library of Trinity College, Dublin,

·         the National Art Library, London,

·         the Library of the Royal Academy of Arts, London.

If you can’t get to see this material at one of these libraries, the content is still available on Bob Forrest’s website .

* For our post on booklets 1-5, see

For our post on booklet 6, see

Rubáiyát Concordance website is available again

May 8, 2019

To my great relief I have been able to restore the Concordances of the Rubáiyát website, and it is now available again at the same address:

With its new look and feel it has the same functionalities as the old website. However, I am still working on republishing the Calcutta quatrains and their translations, which will take some more time. Thanks for your patience!


Victor Roland Anderson, A Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam Artist, 1934

April 20, 2019

Danton O’Day has sent us details of another special copy of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam which he has in his collection.  This version is illustrated and calligraphed by Victor Anderson.  Danton writes as follows.

While reorganizing the bookshelves holding my collection of Rubaiyat books, I came across an interesting copy that I had purchased a couple of years previously. Since I was primarily interested in the earliest artists (1884-1929) and since this was a recent reproduction of some artwork done in 1934, I had ignored it. But looking at the beautiful illustrations and calligraphy, I decided to find out more about this book. It didn’t take long because Moira Anderson Allen, the granddaughter of Victor and compiler/editor of the book in question, was easy to find and willing to share information.

Victor Anderson’s artwork for the first version of Edward FitzGerald’s Rubaiyat was done on “large (elephant-folio size) sheets of parchment” which made Moira’s job of generating images and trimming them for the landscape 11½” x 8½”, 20-page family publication difficult. A few trimmed images from that book, plus an enlarged portion of one, are shown here with her permission.

Born in San Francisco to Swedish parents, Victor Anderson remained a Californian throughout his life. He was a graphic artist who worked mainly for California Art and Engraving. A multi-talented artist who worked in various media, he never achieved fame equivalent to his talent. I’m hoping to present more images and information as the tale of this previously undiscovered Rubaiyat artist unfolds.

More on Fred Adlington

April 3, 2019

Adlington illustration Q 46

Earlier this year, we posted a note about work that Bob Forrest had published on a hitherto unknown Rubaiyat artist named Fred Adlington – see  In recent months, Bob has continued to investigate some gaps in his original account. This has led him to revise his essay and it is now republished on his website (see link below).  Bob explains as follows.

Since my article first went online some new information has come to light about this interesting musician and Rubaiyat illustrator, thanks mainly to a lead provided by Michael Behrend. It turns out that Fred Adlington was not born in 1891/2 as his death certificate implies, but in 1886. Furthermore he was not born as Fred Adlington, but as Fred Peters: Peters was the name of his natural father, who was sent to prison for fraud in 1892, and thereafter seems to have disappeared from Fred’s life; Adlington was the name of his step-father, at one stage a music teacher, and so presumably a source of inspiration for the young Fred. For details of this and more, see the revised essay at:


Edward FitzGerald’s birthday is with us again

March 31, 2019

Every year, on 31st March especially, we remind ourselves of all the richness that Edward FitzGerald has given the world.  On this day in 1809 the author of The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam was born, and on the same day in 1859 the first edition of his poem was published in the UK.  Please raise a glass of something appropriate and join us in recognising FitzGerald’s contribution and hoping that his words will continued to resonate with others in the years ahead.

This year, we also send good wishes to Charles Mugleston for his reading of the poem in Woodbridge, see  We wish that we could be there in the audience.  We are sure it will be a great occasion.