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More unusual associations for the Rubaiyat

November 12, 2017

Bob Forrest has sent us two newspaper items which highlight the unusual and very varied associations that the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam has had in the past.

The first of these relates to what Bob calls the ‘Murder, Suicide and the Rubaiyat’ theme on the blog – see e.g. https://omarkhayyamrubaiyat.wordpress.com/2017/09/29/why-george-marshalls-rubaiyat-is-not-a-false-imprint/.  The sad story is shown on the left.  A woman was found dead in London in May 1953, with a copy of FitzGerald’s Rubaiyat open at quatrain 32 of the first edition, ‘There was a Door to which I found no Key: …’.  The verdict of the Coroner was that the lady had taken her own life.  One can only hope that the Rubaiyat was some solace to her, as it has often been to others in various kinds of distress .  Quite why this story from London was reported in the Aberdeen Evening Express remains a mystery.

 

Bob’s second item is in lighter mood.  The Daily Mirror of July 1916 contains a picture of a rather sultry-looking lady, who is identified as the Hon Mrs Vera Nicholson appearing in a matinee of studies from ‘Omar Khayyam’.  No more details of the event are given, so if anyone knows more about this, please comment below.  We are aware of various plays and dance and pageant events that have been created based on the Rubaiyat, particularly in the first two decades of the 20th century;  see e.g. https://omarkhayyamrubaiyat.wordpress.com/2014/04/30/dancing-to-the-rubaiyat-in-1909/.  And the tradition continues to the present day – search the blog under ‘dance’ to see some other examples.

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