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Fine edition of Rubaiyat decorated by Joyce Francis

September 12, 2018

We recently acquired a copy of FitzGerald’s Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam published by Ebenezer Baylis and Son at the Trinity Press, Worcester in 1934.  This is a fine limited edition of 100 copies, with decorations by an artist called Joyce Francis.  Some images from the book are shown below.  There are a total of six small black and white engravings as decoration, all similar in form to the three shown.

The book is listed as number 76 in Jos Coumans Bibliography, and we know that there are copies in two major libraries.  But otherwise we know nothing about the book, its publisher or the artist.  We wonder whether any readers of this blog have more information.  If so, we should be glad to know – please add your comments below.

9 Comments leave one →
  1. Charles Mugleston permalink
    September 12, 2018 3:44 pm

    No further information, but simply to pass comment that the illustrations are very beautiful – simple and direct… most effective in their symbolic profundity : ‘Alpha – Omega’
    Thank you both as ever – for sharing.

    P.s The ‘Introduction’ to An Illustrated Encyclopedia of Traditional Symbols’ by J.C.Cooper Pub by Thames and Hudson 1984 is a masterpiece of Spiritual understanding about Symbology of which the Chalice of The Ruba’iya’t overflows in abundance…

  2. Fred Diba permalink
    September 12, 2018 4:17 pm

    My collection holds no.17/100 of this item.

  3. September 12, 2018 6:50 pm

    This is about the fascinating information in your previous bog about Bob Forest’s research on Gilbert James. I would be very greatful if you could tell me how to contact him as I have information that he would be interested in including details about to original watercolours.
    With thanks,

    • September 13, 2018 12:42 pm

      Thanks, Nick, for your suggestion. We have forwarded your comment and request to Bob Forrest.

  4. Jane Dew permalink
    April 14, 2019 2:39 pm

    I knew E. Joyce Francis very well and would love to buy an edition of the Rubaiyat. She was a consumate artist and craftswoman, living in Birmingham and latterly in Mid.Wales.

    • April 15, 2019 9:37 am

      We are glad to hear from you on the blog. We understand that you have been in touch with Bob Forrest who is continuing to investigate the life and works of Joyce Francis, and we all hope to learn more from any memories of this fine artist that you are willing to share. As regards obtaining a copy of the edition of the Rubaiyat that she illustrated, these seem to be quite rare. Certainly we were unaware of this edition until we found a copy in a book sale a year or so ago. But it is worth searching on line, and may be other readers will have some better suggestions.


  1. More information on Rubaiyat artist Joyce Francis | Omar Khayyam Rubaiyat
  2. Now available – a write up on E Joyce Francis, an illustrator of the Rubaiyat | Omar Khayyam Rubaiyat

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