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Doris M. Palmer (Rubaiyat Illustrator) and her Publisher Husband

March 18, 2020

At this time of social and economic upheaval, it is nice to find some areas of life where things are continuing in reasonably normal fashion.  One of them is research on aspects of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam.  Bob Forrest has sent us information about a new piece of research he has carried out on Doris M Palmer, the artist behind a well known edition of the Rubaiyat which appeared in the inter-war period.

palmer1921 q16Doris Palmer’s Rubaiyat  of Omar Khayyam was first published by Leopold B Hill in London in 1921.  Until now very little was known either about this artist, or her work.  Thanks to Bob’s efforts we now know her dates (1896-1977), and much about the earlier stages of her life.  Bob has also identified various other works by this artist, though the details of her later life and work are still something of a mystery.  He has also highlighted the importance of her husband the publisher Cecil Palmer to her early production of illustrated works.

In parallel with his work on Doris Palmer, Bob has also investigated the life and works of Cecil Palmer about whom much more is actually known.  The results of Bob’s work on both the Palmers is set out in full on his web site at  .  Apart from Doris Palmer’s  later life, another mystery that remains is why her Rubaiyat was published not by her husband but by the firm of Leopold B Hill?  In 1921 Cecil Palmer appears to have had quite a substantial publishing business, and he would probably have been well capable of producing a major illustrated work such as The Rubaiyat?

Readers interested in this period of Rubaiyat illustration and publication are recommended to explore Bob’s article which is full of much more valuable detail and many illustrations.  We are grateful to Bob for sharing this work with us.  If any readers have information to add to what we have so far learnt about Doris Palmer, Bob would be very glad to know.  Please comment below.

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