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A cartoon by Gilbert James and a website which identifies many more Rubaiyat-related cartoons

November 27, 2017

The investigation of Rubaiyat-related cartoons is proving to be a very interesting area of research.  We have two further items of information, courtesy of our correspondents, to whom we are very grateful. 

First, Bob Forrest reminds us of a cartoon by one of the earliest illustrators of FitzGerald’s Rubaiyat, Gilbert James.  This parody of quatrain 11 in FitzGerald’s first edition appeared in the issue of The Tatler for Feb 24th 1904.  The illustration left is taken from Bob’s own website, where there is much more information on the artist;  see http://www.bobforrestweb.co.uk/The_Rubaiyat/N_and_Q/Gilbert_James/Gilbert_James.htm

 Second, Joe Howard, whose information originally started this theme on the blog, has discovered an extremely useful website for those interested in the subject.  Joe writes as follows.

I discovered an excellent website the “British Cartoon Archive” located at the University of Kent:  https://archive.cartoons.ac.uk/Overview.aspx

Using the search term “Omar” yields 20 hits of which 16 are distinct cartoons (in some cases they have both the original cartoon and its printed form). Of these 12 are ROK related. The remaining 4 refer to contemporary persons with the name Omar. Cartoonists of interest, with the number of their cartoons shown, are:

Will Dyson (2)
Ronald Carl Giles (1)
Leslie Gilbert Illingworth (1)
John Jensen (1)
Nicholas Garland (4)
Victor Weisz (3)

Interestingly, all three of Weisz’s cartoons use the same quotation from quatrain 65; “But, fill me with the old familiar Juice, Methinks I might recover by-and-bye!” The “Juice” referred to in these cartoons is “oil”.

Changing the search term to “Rubaiyat” reveals an additional cartoon by Nicholas Garland.

Changing it again to “Khayyam” leads to 11 hits but only the last one, by Victor Weisz is not already included above.

The website provides considerable detail about the cartoons, plus good images.

We seem to get slightly different numbers from Joe’s when we do the searches (using the advanced search facility), but the site is clearly a very useful resource.  Our second illustration is by David Low and has a suitably seasonal tone, referring to David Lloyd George in 1922.  Joe’s original comments are available on the following link: https://omarkhayyamrubaiyat.wordpress.com/2017/11/21/a-rubaiyat-related-political-cartoon-and-some-studies-for-a-menu/

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