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Rubaiyat Research Day in Cambridge, 9th July 2016

July 15, 2016

1shr1086scfLast Saturday a small group of Rubaiyat researchers met in Cambridge to discuss recent research findings and to explore aspects of the role of the verses in modern life and education.  It was a very enjoyable and informative occasion.  The wide range of topics covered is shown below, with brief summaries of the content of the presentations.  We plan to post more details from some of the presentations in due course.  Meanwhile if any reader has a particular interest in one or more subject, please comment below and we’ll try to put you in contact with the relevant person.

Various issues were raised regarding how the Rubaiyat might be brought to a wider modern audience, and introduced more into various levels of education.  We intend to post a separate item on such questions.  If you have any thoughts to add on this important subject, again please comment below.

Tony Briggs The Reduced Rubaiyat:  All the Wisdom you Need, but is it Omarian?

Including reflections on the philosophy of the poem and its relevance to youth today, plus a discussion of a short selection of key quatrains.

Asghar Seyed-Gohrab The Reception of Khayyam’s Transgressive Ideas

Discussion of the reception of the Rubaiyat in 20th century Iran and the work of Sadeq Hedayat.

Roger Paas The Rubaiyat at Mardi Gras

Telling about the role of the Rubaiyat in the New Orleans Mardi Gras Parade of 1905.

Jos Coumans My Rubaiyat Concordance Project *

Presentation of an important new web site comparing the quatrains included by different translators and editors in their versions of the Rubaiyat.

Bill Martin and Sandra Mason The Man behind the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam

Introduction of a new book on the Life and Letters of Edward FitzGerald, highlighting insights into FitzGerald’s life and the conditions under which he created his Rubaiyat.

Garry Garrard Bedford’s Fatal Attraction

Exploration of new research on W K Browne, FitzGerald’s young friend from Bedford, and his family, highlighting new material obtained from one of Browne’s descendants. 

Bob Forrest Colonel Robert J R Brown and Ambrose George Potter *

Discussion of a very unusual edition of the Rubaiyat, and presentation of a new index to Potter’s Bibliography of the Rubaiyat prepared by Douglas Taylor and the speaker. 

John Drew Leicester Pirate and Leicester City *

Referring to a recent pamphlet by the speaker and Jos Coumans on a 19th century pirate edition of the Rubaiyat, and the presentation of this to the current manager of Leicester City Football Club.

* There is further information on these subjects in earlier posts as follows:

6 Comments leave one →
  1. LCH permalink
    July 19, 2016 3:40 am

    Hello, I have been reading your blog for awhile now being that the Rubaiyat Is my favorite book and has been since being introduced to the quatrains In 1977. Being and painter I was inspired and set the aim to someday create Illustrations. This year the book came together. My desire is to introduce the Rubaiyat To young and old in a new way. (Parents can read to young children while looking at the pictures. For myself when I first started reading the Rubaiyat I did not know for sure what the words were saying …but the sound of the words….created a feeling.)

    So when I read this statement….. Seemed to be a door opening to that possibility and I had to respond….

    “Various issues were raised regarding how the Rubaiyat might be brought to a wider modern audience, and introduced more into various levels of education. We intend to post a separate item on such questions. If you have any thoughts to add on this important subject, again please comment below.”

    With an introduction by Louis Untermeyer Artist statement by Linda Carter Holman 44 full color pictures from my Southwest series of paintings Paired with the 75 quatrains from Edward FitzGerald’s first edition.

    I would appreciate your thoughts. Would be happy to send you a copy of the book.

    “The creation of art, In all its various forms, Allows each one of us To sing the song anew” Lch Thank you, Linda Carter Holman Sent from my iPad


  2. July 19, 2016 9:39 am

    Hello Linda – and thanks for your comment. That sounds a very exciting project, just the thing that is needed to stimulate the interest of young people, and their parents. We should love to see the book if you can send it in some way. Then perhaps we can post a full item on the blog with a few images. Please sent to

    We wait to hear more!

  3. October 19, 2016 2:10 pm

    In this and subsequent posts about the Rubaiyat Research Day in Cambridge (see e.g., we neglected to mention the venue for the event. The meeting was held at the Ancient India and Iran Trust premises in Brooklands Avenue near the centre of Cambridge. The Trust is home to a unique library covering India, Iran, Central Asia and much more. It includes a number of unusual editions of the Rubaiyat and other relevant material for Rubaiyat researchers. There are excellent facilities for small meetings and workshops and the Trust runs a series of lectures to which the public are welcome. For more information, see the new website and blog


  1. The Rubaiyat at New Orleans Mardi Gras | Omar Khayyam Rubaiyat
  2. A Reduced Rubaiyat full of Wisdom – but is it Omarian Wisdom? | Omar Khayyam Rubaiyat
  3. Research Day on Omar Khayyam in Leiden Sat. 27th May 2017 | Omar Khayyam Rubaiyat

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