Gallery 7 – Notes.

Gallery 7A – The Nightingale and the Rose.

Folder 1: Persian.

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The odd juxtaposition of the Nightingale and the Rose, as encountered in FitzGerald’s verse 6 via its Omarian original, had an impact on the visual arts of Persia, as well as on its poetry, though the theme rapidly merges into the more general image of the Bird and the Flower. Five examples are shown here. Fig.1 is a 19th century ink and watercolour work, possibly from Shiraz, in Iran. Fig 2 is a mid-19th century gouache and watercolour work by the painter Luft-Ali Khan, again thought to be from Shiraz, in Iran. Fig.3 is the binding of a 19th century copy of the Divan of Hafiz. Fig.4 is a (presumed modern) painting, taken from the Iranian Shahre Farang cultural website, run by Mehrdad Aref-Adib & Surena Parham at:

Fig.5 is a Persian miniature, no artist or date given, taken from:

Folder 2: Wilde.

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Oscar Wilde’s short story “The Nightingale and the Rose” has given a western boost to this Middle Eastern image. Figs. 1 & 2 are book covers, the first being a particularly good interpretation, even down to the Nightingale impaling itself on a thorn of the Rose. Fig.1 is the cover of The Fairy Tales of Oscar Wilde (vol.4), illustrated by P. Craig Russell, NBM Publications, 2004. Fig.2 is the cover of the Signet Classic edition of The Complete Fairy Tales of Oscar Wilde, 1990.

Figs. 3 & 4 are paintings inspired by Wilde’s story. Fig.3 is by Dublin-based children’s book illustrator P.J. Lynch, and features on his website at:

Fig.4 is by Wendy Mitchell and is taken from the following website:

Gallery 7B – Eden and the Snake.

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Further to the notes on FitzGerald’s verse 58, the Fall of Man and the Temptation of Eve has been a favourite subject for artists. Here we concentrate more particularly on the Snake or Serpent in the Genesis story. That the Serpent had legs before it was condemned by God to slither over the ground for its misdeeds (implied by Gen.3.14) is depicted in the painting of the Fall by Hugo van der Goes (Fig.1) and in the manuscript painting of the Temptation of Eve by the Limbourg Brothers (?)(Fig.2), both dating from the 15th century. The latter is also interesting in that the serpent is clearly female, reflecting the male prejudice that the Fall of Mankind must have been brought about by a woman! (Compare the Note on Lilith in Gallery 3I.) In both Figs 1 & 2 the Serpent is depicted with a human head. Bosch’s rendering of the Temptation (Fig.3: c.1500) likewise has a female Serpent, with a human head and reptilian legs. (This illustration is a detail from Bosch’s “Paradise”, the left wing of his “Last Judgement” triptych.) Incidentally, in Book 18 of Langland’s 14th century work Piers the Ploughman the Serpent is described as “ylik a lusard with a lady visage” or “like a lizard with a woman’s face”.) In Masolino’s painting (Fig.4: 15th century) we have a human head (seemingly female), but no legs. In Hans Beldung’s painting (Fig.5: 16th century) the serpent is all serpent, and, unusually, the figure of Death is present, for before the Fall there was no death (implied by Gen. 2.17 & 3.19). Note how the Snake bites the hand of Death! Blake’s interpretation of the Temptation (Fig.6), done as an illustration for Milton’s Paradise Lost, also has a Serpent without human characteristics (though Milton has the Serpent as male – eg Book 1, line 34: ”Th’infernal Serpent; he it was whose guile etc”), and it is interesting how Blake has made the Serpent coil around Eve – compare the similar images of Lilith in Gallery 3I (Fig.2 is a good example.) The Temptation as a theme for paintings has survived down to modern times, and two examples are shown here, one by Henry Fuseli (Fig.7) and the other by J.R. Spencer Stanhope (Fig.8).

That the Serpent became linked with the Devil (eg Rev.12.9 & 20.2) is hardly surprising, and it is for this reason that we sometimes see a Serpent being trampled by the Virgin Mary in representations of her as the Immaculate Conception. (The image of the Immaculate Conception draws much from the Book of Revelation, chapter 12, notably the Moon under her feet and the Crown of Twelve Stars from Rev.12.1.) Tiepolo’s painting (Fig.9) shows the Serpent (the Apple of the Temptation seemingly still in its mouth!), the Crescent Moon (its points just visible) and the Crown of Stars. Zurbarán’s painting (Fig.10) likewise shows the Serpent with the Apple in its mouth. Here again we have the Crescent Moon at the Virgin’s feet, but no Crown of Stars – merely a radiance from her head, presumably representing the phrase “clothed with the sun” of Rev.12.1. Finally, Murillo’s version (Fig.11) has the Crescent Moon but no Serpent and no Crown of Stars – just a radiance from the Virgin’s head again.

Gallery 7C – Sacred Parallels.

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Fig.1 is a traditional image of the Virgin and Child, in this case the famous icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in the church of St Alphonsus, in Rome. The angels, incidentally, carry the instruments of the Passion – the Crown of Thorns, the Lance, the Sponge of Vinegar etc – thus pre-figuring the final crucifixion of the Infant Christ. Fig.2 is a traditional image of the ancient Egyptian goddess Isis and her infant son Horus. Fig.3 is a Hindu image of the goddess Devaki and her son Krishna. Note the halos, paralleling those of the Virgin and Child in Fig.1. Fig.4 is a small wooden statuette of Queen Maya and her son, the future Buddha. These parallels arise, of course, from the simple fact that a mother-and-child image is universal, and so it is natural that the image should find its way into the sacred art of almost all cultures. (Not Islam, of course, with its prohibition of pictorial images generally.)

More difficult to account for fully, since it involves complex networks of cultural contacts and influences, is the prevalence of the rosary and prayer beads. Rosaries or prayer beads are found in Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism. The number of beads varies considerably even within the same culture. In Christianity, the Catholic Rosary (Fig.5) contains considerably more beads than the Anglican (Fig.6) – a full Catholic Rosary consists of 150 beads; the Anglican of 33, these corresponding to the supposed number of years Christ lived on Earth. (Protestantism does not use rosaries, of course, and nor, incidentally, does Judaism.) Islamic prayer beads (Fig.7) contain number of beads useful for keeping track of the 99 titles of God, so 33 is a usual and convenient number, three circuits of the chaplet serving to enumerate all 99 titles. (It an odd coincidence that 33 is also the number of beads on the Anglican Rosary!) Hindu and Buddhist prayer beads often consist of 108 beads, or a convenient sub-division thereof (27 or 54 beads). Fig. 8 is a Hindu example with 54 beads, Fig.9 a Buddhist example with 108 beads (each quadrant containing 27 beads.) There are deviations from this, however. Dubin, in the source cited below, gives an illustration of a Hindu chaplet of 66 beads (Fig.71) and another illustration of a Japanese Buddhist chaplet of 112 beads (Fig.73).

Since there is a basic need in all religions to keep track of the prayers recited in a lengthy religious ritual, it is hardly surprising that prayer beads have been adopted by so many cultures, and one wonders if, given its basic nature, it might have been invented quite independently by different cultures, with no culturing borrowing of the idea. But there does seem to be more to it than simple counting, for the Hindu name for a chaplet is a japa mala”, japa signifying repetition of a prayer, and mala signifying a garland of flowers. The very name rosary, of course, also links up with a garland of flowers – specifically of roses. Such conceptual links do rather suggest a borrowing of ideas from one culture by another, rather than just the independent invention of similar counting devices, and much debate has taken place over whether the Catholic rosary was adopted from the Moslems during the time of the Crusades, and whether the Moslems, earlier, had adopted the idea from the Hindus or the Buddhists. But whatever the history behind it, as the article on “The Rosary” in The Catholic Encyclopedia notes:

“Marco Polo, visiting the King of Malabar in the thirteenth century, found to his surprise that that monarch employed a rosary of 104 (? 108) precious stones to count his prayers. St. Francis Xavier and his companions were equally astonished to see that rosaries were universally familiar to the Buddhists of Japan.”

Incidentally, in Marco Polo’s Travels it was the King of Maabar, not Malabar, who wore a necklace of 104 pearls and rubies with which to count his prayers. As for St Francis Xavier, the following passage from James Brodrick’s book St. Francis Xavier (1506-1552), first published in 1952, is of interest:

“It astonished St Francis Xavier to find so many practices and institutions in Buddhism which closely resembled those of the Catholic Church, as the use of the sacraments and symbols, of elaborate ritual, of praying-beads, of sacred vestments, of bells and chant, of incense, of holy water, of images, and the prevalence of monasticism for both men and women, the addiction to the making of pilgrimages, the invocation of saints, and much else. These interesting parallels made Francis wonder whether the religion of China and consequently of Japan had not been influenced either by the preaching of the Apostle St. Thomas or by contact with the later Nestorian missions. After careful investigation with the aid of learned converts, he decided that in Japan at least there had hitherto been no knowledge of the true God nor of His Son, Jesus Christ.” (p.444)

This, of course, recalls the experience of the two French Roman Catholic Missionaries, Huc and Gabet, mentioned in chapter 10 of the main essay, who arrived in Tibet in 1845 to be confronted by some startling parallels between their own Catholic rituals and those of the Buddhist monks they found there.

Sources: As indicated above, the article “The Rosary” in The Catholic Encyclopedia (vol.13) is useful. This is also available online at It covers mainly the Christian rosary, of course, More generally, see the chapter on “Prayer Beads” in Lois Sherr Dubin, The History of Beads, from 30,000 BC to the Present (1987), p.79-91 and the web-site: .

Gallery 7D – Orientalist Fashions.

Folder 1: Paintings.

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As mentioned in note 46d to the main essay, Whistler’s painting “La Princesse du Pays de Porcelaine” (1863-4: Fig.1) is clearly a result of Japanese influence, as is Claude Monet’s “La Japonaise” (1876: Fig.2). The latter actually portrays Madame Monet in a kimono, and so is probably as much a statement about fashionable dress as about the Japanese influence on painting! To these we can add van Gogh’s painting “The Courtesan” (1887: Fig.3), based on a work by the Japanese artist Kesai Eisen. Van Gogh’s interest in Japanese art is curiously illustrated by his famous “Self-Portrait with a Bandaged Ear” (1889: Fig.4) – on the wall behind him one can see a Japanese print. Van Gogh also copied at least two other Japanese works – “Flowering Plum Tree” (Fig.5) and “The Bridge in the Rain” (Fig.6). Both were completed in 1887 and copied works by Hiroshige. Comparable to Fig.4 in showing the taste for Japanese prints, is Manet’s “Portrait of Emile Zola” (1868: Fig.7) which has a Japanese print of a wrestler by Utagawa Kuniaki II on the wall in the background, not to mention a Japanese screen to the left of the painting. It is curious, given the great European interest in Japanese art in the second half of the 19th century, and given that Rossetti, for example, had an acknowledged affection for Japanese art, that the Pre-Raphaelites remained totally uninfluenced in their paintings by this trend.

The influence of Chinese art on Europe was, generally speaking, similar but much earlier. Good examples are the works of Robert Robinson, like “Chinese Princess at a Shrine” (Fig.8) and “Chinese Fisherman hunting a Crocodile” (Fig.9), two of eleven panels painted by the artist in about 1696. Similarly the works of François Boucher, “The Chinese Wedding” (Fig.10) and “The Chinese Garden” (Fig.11) both painted in about 1742. [The former is taken from the web-site]

Fig.12 and Fig.13 are two examples of Chinese Export art – that is, works produced in China specifically for export and catering for western tastes. The first was painted about 1780, the second about 1850.

Folder 2: Sculpture, Pottery etc (Chinoiserie; Japonisme; Egyptomania)

The first two sub-folders simply give, in no specific order, a number of European items of one sort or another, made in Chinese style (Chinoiserie: note 46 b & c) and in Japanese style (Japonisme: note 46d). The aim is simply to show the wide range of such objects, from furniture to fans. In the Chinoiserie sub-folder (to browse, click here), the items depiected are:

Fig.1: A book-case, English, c.1775.

Fig.2: A jewellery box, French, c.1745.

Fig.3: Chinese musicians, English, c.1755.

Fig.4: The Chinese Pagoda at Kew Gardens, 1762.

Fig.5: A plate, English, c.1805.

Fig.6: A fan, French, c.1765.

Fig.7: A porcelain jug, Vienna 1799.

Fig.8: A tea-pot, German, c.1725.

Fig.9: The Brighton Pavilion is a particularly interesting example of Orientalism. Its exterior (Fig.9a) owes much to Indian architecture, whilst on the interior much Chinese influence is in evidence – here (Fig.9b) the Banqueting Room is shown by way of an example.

In the Japonisme sub-folder (to browse, click here), the items depicted are:

Fig.1: A dish, English, c.1888.

Fig.2: Figurines, English, 1874.

Fig.3: A porcelain jar, English, 19th century.

Fig.4: A pair of candlesticks, French, c.1880.

Fig.5: A clock, French, c.1880.

Fig.6: A pair of vases, French, c.1870-1875.

Fig.7: A poster advertising Gilbert and Sullivan's The Mikado, dating from 1885.

Likewise, the third sub-folder gives a number of examples illustrative of “Egyptomania” (note 41) – the long-standing (and still continuing) fascination with art-objects in the style of ancient Egypt. The items depicted (to browse, click here) are:

Fig.1: A pendant in the form of a scarab beetle, dating from about the 1920s.

Fig.2: A modern ornament in the form of an obelisk.

Fig.3: A Wedgwood canopic jar, early 19th century.

Fig.4: Another Wedgwood canopic jar, again early 19th century.

Fig.5: A pair of sphinxes, Wedgwood, late 18th century.

Fig.6: A tea-pot, Wedgwood, early 19th century.

Folder 3: Dress.

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One of the most famous images of Lord Byron is the painting by Thomas Phillips of the poet in Albanian dress, painted in 1835, eleven years after the poet’s death, and shown here as Fig.1. As we saw in chapter 9 of the main essay and in note (43), Byron’s almost cult-status influenced everything from poetry and drama to fashion and social behaviour (notably the pose of the pale and tortured Byronic hero.)  But actually, Byron was neither the first nor the last to have a fondness for oriental dress. Much earlier, at the beginning of the 17th century, William Lithgow had visited the ruins of Troy. In his account of his travels, published under the title of The Totall Discourse of the Adventures Rare, and painefull Peregrinations of long nineteen Yeares Travayles from Scotland to The Most Famous Kingdomes in Europe, Asia and Affrica, he had himself depicted in Turkish dress. Fig.2 is a woodcut from the 1632 edition of his book, used both as the frontispiece to the book (Fig.2a) and again in the section of his book dealing with his visit to Troy (Fig.2b). Over a century later, in about 1750, Lady Mary Wortley Montagu had her portrait painted, in Turkish dress, by the miniaturist Gervase Spencer (Fig.3). Again, slightly later, Mary, the 3rd Duchess of Richmond, had her portrait painted in Turkish dress, of which Fig.4 is an engraving produced in 1775. Later again, in 1817, George Cummings had his portrait painted in Turkish dress, by Andrew Geddes (Fig.5). Byron, then, by no means started a trend – he was merely a cult figure who joined it – and whether on account of Byron’s example or simply by following the trend that started before him, many other examples can be cited. Fig.6 is Richard Dadd’s portrait of Sir Thomas Phillips (not to be confused with the painter of Fig.1!), painted in 1842-3.

Gallery 7E – Laus Veneris & Tannhäuser

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Tannhäuser was a legendary German knight who ventured into the subterranean kingdom of the pagan goddess Venus, which was situated beneath a mountain, the Venusberg or Mountain of Venus. There he was seduced into staying for a whole year of lustful pleasures, until he repented of his sinful over-indulgence and set out for Rome to beg for absolution from the Pope, Urban IV. The Pope, however, said that he could no more grant Tannhäuser absolution from such grave sins of the flesh than his papal staff could sprout leaves. Seemingly with no chance of absolution, and facing eternal damnation, Tannhäuser returned to the Mountain of Venus. Within a short time of his leaving the Pope, however, the papal staff did miraculously blossom, and so the Pope sent out messengers to find Tannhäuser and bring him back for the absolution of his sins. But it was too late: with nothing to lose, Tannhäuser had already returned to the arms of Venus, and was nowhere to be found.

The history of the Tannhäuser legend is a long and complex one, but basically it seems to have developed in Germany starting in the 14th century, the name of the knight perhaps being based on that of a poet-musician (minnesinger), who, after a wild and dissolute life, died in 1270. (He was thus a contemporary of Urban IV, which is perhaps why this particular pope features in the story.) Tannhäuser’s sojourn in the pleasure palace beneath the Venusberg is clearly related to similar stories of people who stray or are enticed into the subterranean realms of the fairies, where there is much feasting and dancing, not to mention an amorous fairy queen. The role of Venus in the story is that of a pagan love-goddess who has been transformed by Christianity into an agent of the Devil, her aim being to divert devout Christians from the paths of righteous chastity and marital fidelity to those of sinful lust and infidelity. (It is interesting that Rossetti’s painting “Venus Verticordia”, in Gallery 3B (Fig.1) seems, intentionally or otherwise, to be a relative of this image of Venus!) Finally, the fairly common folklore motif of a miraculously flowering staff is here used as a jibe at the papacy, presumably carrying the message that if the Church may not forgive the true penitent, then God will (somewhat reminiscent of FitzGerald’s line in verse 64: “He’s a Good Fellow, and ‘twill all be well.”!) Tannhäuser’s damnation thus becomes the Pope’s responsibility. (For a full account of the origin and development of the legend and its various strands, see Philip Stephan Barto’s book, Tannhäuser and the Venusberg (1913), later reprinted as Tannhäuser and the Mountain of Venus (1916); also Arthur F.J. Remy, “The Origin of the Tannhäuser Legend” in The Journal of English and German Philology, vol.12, no.1 (Jan. 1913), p.32-77.)

Not surprisingly, the notion of a Pleasure Palace of Venus has attracted the attention of many artists. The results have varied from the relatively reserved paintings of Henri Fantin-Latour (Fig.1: “Scene from Tannhäuser”, 1864) and Edward Burne-Jones (Fig.2: “Laus Veneris”, 1873-5) to the more erotic works of John Collier (Fig.3: “Tannhäuser in the Venusberg”, 1901) and Otto Knille (Fig.4: “Tannhäuser and Venus”, 1873). But the best known incarnation of the Tannhäuser legend today is probably Wagner’s opera on the theme, though it is to be noted that Wagner introduces an additional strand to the story in the form of a singing competition, in which Tannhäuser is a contestant, on the theme of “Love’s Awakening”. This takes place between Tannhäuser’s exit from the Venusberg and his pilgrimage to Rome, and of course Tannhäuser’s contribution is to praise the Love of Venus, thus inspiring shock and horror in his audience. There are also other minor differences to the basic legend as told earlier, but these do not concern us here – for those interested, see; J.G.Robertson, “The Genesis of Wagner’s Drama ‘Tannhäuser’”, The Modern Language Review, vol.18, no.4 (Oct 1923), p.458-470; and Claude M. Simpson Jr, “Wagner and the Tannhäuser Tradition”, PMLA vol.63, no.1 (Mar 1948), p.244-261 – for the singing contest in particular see Robertson p.460-4 & Simpson p.250-2.

As noted in chapter 11 of the main essay and more particularly in Appendix 16, Wagner’s opera was not a source of inspiration for Swinburne’s “Laus Veneris”, except, perhaps, indirectly via Fane & Lytton’s poem Tannhäuser; or, The Battle of the Bards, which was inspired by Wagner. But Wagner’s Tannhäuser is not just of interest to us here because of its common subject matter with Swinburne’s “Laus Veneris”, which was written, remember, as a curious response to reading The Rubaiyat, shortly after its discovery by the Pre-Raphaelites in 1861. Wagner’s opera is also of interest to us here because it was profusely illustrated by Willy Pogany, the Hungarian-born artist who also illustrated at least three editions of The Rubaiyat (in 1909, 1930 and 1942, with various reprints.) Pogany’s extraordinary illustrations can be found in Tannhäuser: A Dramatic Poem by Richard Wagner, freely translated in poetic narrative form by T. W. Rolleston, presented by Willy Pogany, which first appeared in 1911. Two of Pogany’s illustrations – one line-drawing and one painting – are shown here as Fig.5 and Fig.6. The first depicts Tannhäuser at the feet of Venus on his arrival at the Venusberg, the second a Bacchic revel there. (Incidentally, Pogany went on to illustrate two more Wagner operas, Parsifal in 1912 and Lohengrin in 1913.)

Finally, in 1895 Aubrey Beardsley began his novel Venus and Tannhäuser, the projected frontispiece and title-page for which are shown in Fig.7 [image courtesy of the John Rylands Library, Manchester] and a projected textual illustration for which is shown in Fig.8. The word “projected” is used here because the novel remained unfinished, probably, though not certainly, on account of Beardsley’s early death in 1898, at the age of only 25. There is also some evidence that he didn’t complete it because his own religious beliefs changed during the course of its composition. See, for example, Geoffrey Harpham, “The Incompleteness of Beardsley’s ‘Venus and Tannhäuser’” in English Literature in Transition (1880-1920), vol.18, no.1, p.24-32.

(The history of Beardsley’s uncompleted novel Venus and Tannhäuser is a study unto itself. What is usually referred to as an expurgated version of it was published bearing the title “Under the Hill: a Romantic Novel” in The Savoy, in the issues of January and April 1896. In this version Tannhäuser was re-named as Abbé Fanfreluche and Venus as Helen, plus, for example, the more risqué character of Priapusa was renamed as Mrs Marsuple. The text was accompanied by six illustrations, none of which are related in any way to Figs. 7 & 8, which were clearly prepared for the unexpurgated version – the frontispiece, the left-hand half of Fig.7, being clearly dated 1895. However, the unexpurgated version wasn’t published until 1907, when it appeared in the form of a limited edition of 300 copies (“for private circulation”), issued by the publisher Leonard Smithers, under the title The Story of Venus and Tannhäuser A Romantic Novel. This edition, however, was not illustrated, so it is not actually clear how Beardsley intended the unexpurgated version to be illustrated. For the background, see, for example, George Y. Trail, “Beardsley’s ‘Venus and Tannhäuser’: Two Versions” in English Literature in Transition (1880-1920), vol.18, no.1, p.16-23; Linda G. Zatlin, “Beardsley Redresses Venus” in Victorian Poetry, vol.28, no.3/4 (Autumn-Winter 1990), p.111-124; and Linda C. Dowling, “‘Venus and Tannhäuser’: Beardsley’s Satire of Decadence” in The Journal of Narrative Technique, vol.8, no.1 (Winter 1978), p.26-41. Fig.7 first appeared as “hitherto unpublished” in H.C.Marillier, The Early Work of Aubrey Beardsley (1899), no.92 (no.93 being also presumably intended for use in the unexpurgated version); for Fig.8 see Zatlin’s article, p.113.)

Gallery 7F – Miscellaneous.

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Fig.1: The cover of Louis C. Alexander’s book The Testament of Omar Khayyam (1907). The Persian inscription reads “Wasiyyat e Omar Khayyam”, the word wasiyyat meaning testament.

Fig.2 : The inscription in the front of the Harry Ransom Center’s copy of A Rubaiyat of the Trenches (1917) by De C (see note 64): Austin Tryon or Austin Fryers? [Image courtesy of the Harry Ransom Center.]

Fig.3a : A play bill for the Theatre Royal, Leeds, showing F. Joynsen Powell as Talleyand (sic), Minister of State, in W.G. Wills’ play, “A Royal Divorce – a Story of Waterloo”, in May 1915 (see note 64). Fig.3b is a close-up of the relevant part of the play bill. [Images courtesy of the website]

Fig.4 : The inscription in the front of Nigel Burwood’s copy of Alec de Candole’s Poems (1919), “To Evie Tryon”. (See note 64.) [Image courtesy of Nigel Burwood.]

Figs 5 & 6 : Life’s Echoes (1923) by ’Tis True.

As stated in note 19, the first problem with this curious volume is finding its beginning, which is in the middle of the book! The first page of the book – read as an ordinary English book – is p.62, followed by p.61, 60, 59 etc down to p.1, then after p.1 comes p.128, then p.127, 126, 125 etc down to p.63, right at the back of the book! This, at first, suggested to me that the book consisted of two halves which had been bound together the wrong way round, and that actually the first page of the book should be p.128, then p.127, 126, 125 etc down to p.63, and then comes p.62, followed by p.61, 60, 59 etc down to p.1 at the back of the book. Looked at as an English book, this would have all the pages in reverse order, but this would fit in with the fact that its author wanted it to be read “in Mohammedan style”(p.24a) – that is, starting to read at what we would call the back of the book. This would also fit with the covers of the book, or at least the covers of the copies in the British Library and the Library of Trinity College Dublin, for Fig 5a, the Omar monogram, is what we would call the back cover (hence, the front cover, “Mohammedan style”), and Fig 5b, the Qayyam monogram, is what we would call the front cover (hence, the back cover, “Mohammedan style”.) From a “Mohammedan” perspective, then, the covers fit – Omar (front) to Qayyam (back). At this point I thought I had figured out what the author was doing, but no.

Garry Garrard has his own copy of the book, but the covers depicted Figs 5a & b are bound in the middle of it! Furthermore, as Garry pointed out, that seems to be where the author intended them to be, for tucked away on pages 118 and 119, and easily missed, Brown gives a list of illustrations, reproduced here in Fig.6a & Fig.6b (which together constitute p.118), and Fig.6c & Fig.6d (which together constitute p.119). [Remember that, just to add to the fun, a single page number in Life’s Echoes covers two facing leaves.] This index makes it clear that the author intended the pagination to run, “Mohammedan style”, as follows: 63, 64, 65, ….126, 127, 128, Omar ‘cover’, Qayyam ‘cover’, 1, 2, 3, ….60, 61, 62. Why the author did this is not at all clear. Nor is it clear why he put his index of illustrations on pages 118-119 of all places, nor why he put a space for the owner’s book plate on p.126! It has to be said, too, that it is not at all clear what many of his illustrations have to do with the rubaiyat they are supposed to ‘elucidate’ – the picture of a set of combs on p.42 is particularly puzzling, for example. The book is, quite simply, an enigma, but hopefully one which will be unravelled given further research. [For an updated detailed account, see Appendix 25.]

[Figs 5a & b are courtesy of the Library of Trinity College Dublin, and Figs.6a, b, c & d are courtesy of Garry Garrard.]

Fig.7 : A graph of the number of editions of FitzGerald’s The Rubaiyat published in the years 1859-1999. (From Bill Martin and Sandra Mason, The Art of Omar Khayyam (2007), p.8, reproduced by kind permission of the authors.)

Fig.8 : Ubar in ruins – from Nicholas Clapp, The Road to Ubar (1998), p.201. (See notes on verse 5.)

Fig.9 : The Red Palace of the Haft Paikar – from W.Forman, V. Kubrickova and R. Finlayson-Samsour, Persian Miniatures (1967?), no. 33 (see notes on verse 17.) [Image courtesy and copyright of the Werner Forman Archive, London.]

Figs. 10 & 11 : The legend of Hyacinthus (see notes on verse 18.).

According to the article on Hyacinthus in Sir William Smith’s Classical Dictionary the flower that sprang from the dead youth’s blood was probably an iris (the purple iris, if the flower is to fit the legend), though it is difficult to make out anything like the letters AIAI on its petals (Fig.10). Another suggestion, made on the interesting website, is that it is the Blue Larkspur (Fig.11) That this could well be the flower, receives some support from the fact that in an alternative story (mentioned in Smith) the flower that sprang from the blood of Hyacinthus bore the Greek letter Υ on its petals, this being the initial letter of Hyacinthus in Greek (‘Υάκινθος) – in Fig.11 it is actually easier to see a Y than an AI! (This version of the story features in the work of the so-called Second Vatican Mythographer.)

Fig.12 : Rev Dr. Otoman Ha’nish (illustration for Appendix 19.)

Fig.13 : The ram-headed Egyptian god Khnum (or Khnemu) fashioning a man upon a potter’s wheel or table. Behind him is the ibis-headed Thoth, god of wisdom, in the act of marking the allotted span of life for the man being fashioned. See E.A.Wallis Budge, The Gods of the Egyptians (1904), vol.2, p.50 & p.66. Fig.12 is the plate facing p.50. (Illustration for the notes on verse 36.)

Fig.14a & Fig.14b: The illustrations relate to the poem “The Passing Hour” by I. Solomon, illustrated by S.H.Sime, which appeared in The Pall Mall Magazine in January 1899, p.48-9, quoted in Appendix 12l. [Images courtesy of the National Art Library at the Victoria and Albert Museum.]

Fig.15a & Fig.15b: The illustrations relate to the poem “Carpe Diem” by M. Tredinnick, illustrated by T. Williamson, which appeared in The Pall Mall Magazine in August 1896, p.589-591, quoted in Appendix 12l. [Images courtesy of the National Art Library at the Victoria and Albert Museum.]