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Sad news of death of Douglas Taylor on 27th May 2019

May 30, 2019

We have just heard the sad news of the death of Douglas Taylor of Boulder, Colorado on 27th May 2019.  With his passing, the Rubaiyat community has lost an important member.  Over the years, Douglas had amassed a major collection of editions of the Rubaiyat and other material, and he was also a very considerable expert in the field of Rubaiyat and related studies.

Sadly, we did not have a great deal of direct contact with Douglas   We are particularly sorry that we never had a chance to meet him in person;  unfortunately he was not able to attend any of the UK events that marked the Rubaiyat anniversaries in 2009.  But we have always been impressed by the quality and precision of the comments and other input that he gave to this Rubaiyat blog.  He will be greatly missed by all of us in the world of the Rubaiyat.  We send deepest sympathy to all his family and friends.

Please add below any memories of Douglas and other tributes that you may have.  We hope, in due course,  to be able to include a photo of Douglas in this tribute.


We can now add two photos of Douglas received respectively from his son in law Paul, and from Bob Forrest (a photo taken a few years ago, we believe by Jos Coumans).  Our thanks to all of them.  Paul tells us that the first photo was taken a few months ago on Douglas’ 81st birthday;  he was born in 1938.  Paul also says that Douglas’ death came after a struggle with kidney and heart failure, but that his last month was spent happily with family and friends.  RIP Douglas.







Late news

We understand that a memorial for Douglas will take place on  Saturday June 29th, at 2 pm, at Crist Mortuary, 3395 Penrose Pl, Boulder, CO 80301.  His Rubaiyat friends will be welcome to attend.  More details are available on

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Charles Mugleston permalink
    May 30, 2019 6:29 pm

    “I saw Eternity the other night, like a great ring of pure and endless Light – All calm as it was Bright” and such is the vision of the Ruba’iya’t albeit in different words / symbols.
    Wishing you, your family and friends all JOY in the Unity of Spirit from the County of Suffolk..U K
    Charles Mugleston

  2. Bob Forrest permalink
    June 2, 2019 1:44 pm

    Living on opposite sides of the Atlantic, I never actually met Douglas, much to my regret. I exchanged numerous emails with him about Rubaiyat matters for quite a few years, and he was one of my best contacts in researching such matters. If I needed to get scans of obscure sources or to compare editions, Douglas was one of the first people I approached, and he almost always came up trumps: I say “almost”, because I remember on one occasion he couldn’t fully answer my query as the book in question was on a shelf in what had become a general storage room. Unfortunately it was so full of general storage that he couldn’t actually get to the book. However, he kept notes on everything in his collection, and using those he was able to answer most of my query. The word “methodical” springs to mind.

    He also shared my belief in sharing resources with fellow researchers: he sent me images of rare items in the Library of UCLA, for example, and in return I sent him images of rare items in the London Library. Thus, in particular, he became a major source for my study of “Life’s Echoes” by ‘Tis True, and was well pleased with the end result. It all worked very well, and I shall miss him greatly, not just as a source, of course, but for the dry sense of humour that went with it, and the “have you seen this ?” emails that would arrive from time to time.

    One thing that always struck me about Douglas was that despite his detailed knowledge of Rubaiyat studies, he seemed never to publish anything. One day I recall emailing him about the dismal index to Ambrose George Potter’s otherwise classic 1929 Bibliography of the Rubaiyat. Douglas replied by saying that he’d got fed up with it too, and had done his own index in the end: would I like a copy ? To cut a long story short, this unpublished gem arrived by email a couple of days later and a few copies of it were printed in time for free distribution at the Rubaiyat Research Day in Cambridge in July 2016. Paper copies of it are now lodged in the six UK copyright libraries, and pdf copies can now be downloaded from my website. Shared research. Thank you, Douglas.

    Let us all turn down an empty glass.

  3. June 5, 2019 9:22 am

    We have added news of a memorial event for Douglas to the post above. We understand that this will take place on Saturday June 29th, at 2 pm, at Crist Mortuary, 3395 Penrose Pl, Boulder, CO 80301. His Rubaiyat friends will be welcome to attend. More details are available on


  1. What to do with an important Rubaiyat collection? | Omar Khayyam Rubaiyat

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