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Some lesser known elements in the life of Edward Heron-Allen

December 22, 2017

In the world of Rubaiyat studies, Edward Heron-Allen is best known for the work he published at the end of the 1890’s identifying the specific Persian quatrains that Edward FitzGerald used in creating his Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam.  He also published his own more literal translation of verses from both the Bodleian and the Calcutta manuscripts used by FitzGerald.  This work still represents an invaluable research resource over 100 years later.

But Heron-Allen’s work on the Rubaiyat is only one element in a life that had many dimensions.  He was a polymath whose interests and expertise included violin making, palmistry, psychic research, protozoa, and more.  He was also an author of fiction which, as the Heron-Allen Society puts it, ‘dealt with various sexual taboos’ of the time, including homosexuality.  Bob Forrest has recently been following up  this aspect of Heron-Allen’s legacy, drawing attention to inconsistencies between the author’s writings and his public views as expressed particularly in the context of the version of the Rubaiyat published by Frederick Baron Corvo in 1924.

Bob has now published the results of his research in this field on his own website.  The material can be accessed via the following link:   http://www.bobforrestweb.co.uk/The_Rubaiyat/N_and_Q/Heron_Allen/Heron_Allen.htm.  There is more general information about Heron-Allen on:  http://www.heronallensociety.co.uk/Heron-Allen.Edward.htm.

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