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Rubaiyat on the Radio on Thursday 22nd May

May 20, 2014

27pal1102scf2BBC Radio 4 has a regular and lively discussion programme called In Our Time which goes out each week at 9.00 am on Thursdays.  It is chaired by broadcaster Melvyn Bragg;  he leads a panel of three experts, who are usually academics in the field being discussed.  This coming Thursday 22nd May, the subject to be discussed will be The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam.  The experts joining in the programme will be Professor Charles Melville of the University of Cambridge, Professor Daniel Karlin of the University of Bristol, and Professor Kirstie Blair of the University of Stirling.

More information on the programme is available on    If you can’t manage to listen at 9.00 am on Thursday, the programme will be available on the BBC I-player.  It should make interesting listening.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. May 21, 2014 1:57 pm

    This sounds very interesting and I’d love to hear it. But I wonder whether I’ll be able to manage it with the time difference. Any likelihood the programme will be recorded to all for listening at will?

  2. May 21, 2014 3:51 pm

    Hello David. We are glad you are interested in this programme. All the ‘In Our Time’ programmes are available to download as a podcast, as well as to listen again on the BBC I-player. If you follow the link to the web site shown in the post it will tell you more. Sometimes there are copyright issues which restrict access to people resident in the UK, but we hope that this won’t apply for tomorrow’s broadcast. Anyhow try it and see – and let us know if you have difficulties.

  3. May 23, 2014 4:53 pm

    Hello Sandra and Bill — Thank you. I listened with much enjoyment. I thought they managed to cover quite a lot of the “story” but was a little surprised by the omission of a couple of interesting points. No mention — or at best only in passing — that there are five extant versions all approved by Fitz. The other, when talking of how Fitz infused the rendering of the Persian with “all the beauty of English poetry” no one mentioned his choice to use that most English of meters, i.e., iambic pentameter. On the very positive side I was pleased that it was stated so clearly that Fitz would have been horrified by the bizarre publishing tradition that developed of illustrating the poem with utterly irrelevant erotica.

    What did you think of it?

  4. May 27, 2014 8:28 am

    Hello again, David. Great that you managed to hear the broadcast. We thought the discussion from the English literature side was the most interesting element, though we agree that the lack of comment on FitzGerald’s choice of meter was an omission. We mentally raised our eyebrows at a few of the other comments, but we are just glad that the Rubaiyat continues to get some public attention. For those who haven’t heard the programme yet, it is still available on the BBC I-player – see the weblink in the original post.

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