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A coloured version of the Rubaiyat illustrated by Edmund Sullivan, and more – from Austin Torney

October 17, 2017


Austin Torney has been busy with the Rubaiyat again, this time working on a famous version illustrated by Edmund Sullivan which was first published by Methuen in 1913.  The original illustrations, one for each of the 75 quatrains in FitzGerald’s first edition, were in black and white.  Austin has produced a ‘colorized’ version which is published on his website;  there is also a video version on YouTube.  These can be accessed via the following links:

Interestingly, this is not the first time that colour has been added to Sullivan’s illustrations.  We own a copy of an  edition by The World Publishing Company, Cleveland, Ohio, probably from 1938, in which most of the black and white printed illustrations have been coloured by hand.  It is not known who did the colouring – perhaps an earlier owner of the copy – but the result is quite effective, as it that done by Austin Torney.  The image alongside shows the 1938 version of the image for quatrain 64  “… Folks of a surly Tapster tell …”, which can be compared with Austin’s new work.

Austin has also produced YouTube videos of two of his other interpretations of unusual editions of the Rubaiyat.  The first is of the edition illustrated and illuminated by Edward Taylor Jewett which was discussed by Bob Forrest in an earlier post – see  Austin’s second video deals with the famous Great Omar, the first version of which went down in the Titanic.  These two interesting videos can be seen via the following links.

Private Rubaiyat – the Jewett edition

From the Bottom of the Ocean – the Great Omar

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