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More on Fred Adlington

April 3, 2019

Adlington illustration Q 46

Earlier this year, we posted a note about work that Bob Forrest had published on a hitherto unknown Rubaiyat artist named Fred Adlington – see  In recent months, Bob has continued to investigate some gaps in his original account. This has led him to revise his essay and it is now republished on his website (see link below).  Bob explains as follows.

Since my article first went online some new information has come to light about this interesting musician and Rubaiyat illustrator, thanks mainly to a lead provided by Michael Behrend. It turns out that Fred Adlington was not born in 1891/2 as his death certificate implies, but in 1886. Furthermore he was not born as Fred Adlington, but as Fred Peters: Peters was the name of his natural father, who was sent to prison for fraud in 1892, and thereafter seems to have disappeared from Fred’s life; Adlington was the name of his step-father, at one stage a music teacher, and so presumably a source of inspiration for the young Fred. For details of this and more, see the revised essay at:



Edward FitzGerald’s birthday is with us again

March 31, 2019

Every year, on 31st March especially, we remind ourselves of all the richness that Edward FitzGerald has given the world.  On this day in 1809 the author of The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam was born, and on the same day in 1859 the first edition of his poem was published in the UK.  Please raise a glass of something appropriate and join us in recognising FitzGerald’s contribution and hoping that his words will continued to resonate with others in the years ahead.

This year, we also send good wishes to Charles Mugleston for his reading of the poem in Woodbridge, see  We wish that we could be there in the audience.  We are sure it will be a great occasion.

Problems with Rubáiyát Concordance website

March 11, 2019

The Rubáiyát Concordances website has been struck early this month by an error that until now I haven’t been able to identify. As a result of that the website is no longer functioning. All that the visitor sees is the short introduction that served as the welcome page.

The bad news is that there is no easy, quick and cheap solution, but I do intend to restore the website someway or another, though that may take some time.

The good news is that there is a recent copy available in the Internet Archive’s ‘Wayback Machine‘. Here you can enter the url of the Concordances website ( in the search bar. In the timeline that shows up you can select the most recent back up, from January 2019. This back up does not fully cover the original, but it may be useful to some extent.

I am terribly sorry for things going this way but I’ll do my best to bring the website back to life again.


FitzGerald and Ouseley databases now available online

March 1, 2019

In the course of our research into various aspects of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam and its interpretation, we (Bill Martin and Sandra Mason) have created a number of databases containing our key research material.  This has allowed us to search and analyse the material more easily and effectively.  The results of the analyses have been presented in various books and articles over the past 10 years, notably The Art of Omar Khayyam (I B Tauris, 2007), Edward FitzGerald’s Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam (Anthem Press, 2011), The Man behind the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam:  the Life and Letters of Edward FitzGerald (I B Tauris, 2016) and The Ouseley brothers and their journey to Persia 1810-15 (Leisure Consultants, 2018).

It has always been our intention to make these research data available to anyone interested on a public access basis.  This we have now been able to do using the Zenodo storage facility, which  provides open and easy access and storage of data for the long term, run under the auspices of the European Community’s open data policy.  For more information about Zenodo, see .

Our basic data on the publication and interpretation of the Rubaiyat were lodged on Zenodo in November 2018, and information about the nature of the data and how to access them was given in an earlier post – see .  These files have now been joined by the dasebases from our work on Edward FitzGerald and the Ouseley brothers.

The FitzGerald data are to be found under a general ‘community’ heading of Edward FitzGerald Life and Letters – Martin and Mason archive.  This is accessed via .  The introductory page gives access to the following sets of material.

  • All letters – files providing an overview of information relating to all the published letters of Edward FitzGerald contained in the collection published by A M Terhune and A B Terhune in 1980 – see reference below.
  • Writing and reading – files analysing information in FitzGerald’s letters relating to his writing and reading.
  • The arts – files analysing information in FitzGerald’s letters relating to theatre, music, pictures and artworks.
  • Family and friends – files analysing information in FitzGerald’s letters relating to his family and friends.
  • Other interests and views – files analysing information in FitzGerald’s letters relating to his travel, leisure activities, and views on current affairs, religion and other topics
  • Books and other material – files listing available information on his personal library of books and on the books and other material of his held in certain libraries.

William and Gore Ouseley

For the Ouseley data, the community heading is Ouseley Mission to Persia 1810-15 Martin and Mason Archive.  This is accessed via  The introductory page gives access to the following sets of material.

  • ousjourney – database with details of the Ouseley mission to Persia taken from the four reports by participants in the mission (referenced below).
  • ouspeople – database with information on members of Ouseley mission and other people of significance in the analysis.
  • ousref­ – database with listing of books and articles referred to in the course of research on the Ouseley mission.
  • ouscollect – database with summary information on the manuscripts collected by the Ouseley brothers that are now held in the Bodleian library in Oxford.
  • ousreport – copy of our report on The Ouseley brothers and their journey to Persia 1810-15 (referenced below).

Each of these sets of material contains searchable databases in different formats plus explanatory README text files.  As indicated in the latter, the databases were produced as working documents, and the level of detail shown in many fields varies, and no attempt has been made to correct for this unevenness or for minor typographical errors.  Where the material was used in our published report, it was corrected further.  But we hope that the information, such as it is, will be a useful resource for other researchers in this area.

One final point, which we repeat from our earlier post.  A special feature of Zenodo is the creation of ‘communities’ which bring together a number of different sets of data on a broad topic area or project.  These data can be uploaded from different sources.  So if anyone else wishes, it would be possible for their data sets on the Rubaiyat, FitzGerald or the Ouseley brothers to be archived under the general community headings that we have used.  If you are interested in exploring this possibility, please get in touch with us, either directly or via this blog.

A chance to see Orlando Greenwood’s illustrations for the Rubaiyat

February 25, 2019

A little while ago, we heard from Danton O’Day about some previously unknown illustrations for FitzGerald’s Rubaiyat by the British artist Orlando Greenwood (1892-1989) – see  Danton has now presented six black and white illustrations by Greenwood in a video on YouTube.  He writes as follows.

I just published a YouTube video of illustrations of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, by the renowned British artist Orlando Greenwood. These previously unknown pictures are introduced for the first time and linked to the quatrains they illustrated. Contact with international art experts and museums suggest the existence of these pictures were previously unknown. Some of the pictures are reminiscent of those done by Rembrandt. Enjoy the pictures as you learn what inspired them in this narrated video with music soundtrack. One wonders why a book was never published with these images.

The link to the video is .  The illustrations are well worth studying.  Our thanks to Danton for sharing them in this way.

Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam Poetry Coloring Book

February 14, 2019

Just to show that Rubaiyat studies can be fun and creative as well as involving serious research, Danton O’Day has produced a Rubaiyat colouring book to occupy your space time and/or help to introduce the poem to younger readers.  He writes as follows.

I was compelled to put this coloring book together because it reminded me of the many times my granddaughter Sarah and I colored pages as her brother, J.D., played baseball or hockey. Martin and Mason included some coloured illustrations in their book, “The Art of Omar Khayyam”. I assume the pictures were coloured by them. [Actually no, that is not the case;  the colouring was done by some previous owner(s) of the copies of the editions in question.] At times in the past, I had also coloured some of Sullivan’s fantastic images. Luckily, between 1884 and 1929, the era of Rubaiyat art that interests me most, more than 100 artists illustrated and/or decorated versions of Edward FitzGerald’s quatrains many of which offered black and white images appropriate for colouring.

This book has 84 pages to colour featuring illustrations from 35 different artists covering all 75 quatrains from the first edition. The softcover trade book has been put together in a fun format including each verse plus a picture allowing the reader to add their personal artistic flair to these images from the past.

Softcover, trade book, ISBN 978-0-36-821172-0.

Available at via the following link  Price US$ 17.99.

Also available on  Price £13.29.  And via ebay on .  Price £15.80.

Suffolk Poetry Society to pay tribute to the Rubaiyat in the summer

February 11, 2019

It sounds as though Suffolk will be a good place for Rubaiyat lovers to visit in 2019.  An earlier post mentioned a forthcoming event in Woodbridge, Suffolk on 31st March at which Charles Mugleston will be giving a reading of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam by Edward FitzGerald – see  Charles has also told us about a second event in Suffolk, in Ipswich in June, which is inspired by FitzGerald’s poem.

On June 13th 2019, Suffolk Poetry Society, in collaboration with Ipswich Arts Association, will present a lunchtime concert and readings at the Museum Street Methodist Church in Ipswich. The theme of the event is The Rubai’ya’t of Omar Khayyam and alongside excerpts from the Ruba’iya’t  and some of his letters, there will be poems by SPS members inspired by Fitzgerald’s translation interspersed with harp music by Virginie Roidiere.

More details of the event can be found via the following link. .