Notes and Queries Index.

This section of the archive consists of material added to the website after its launch in March 2014. Articles are listed in order of completion / addition to the site, together with a date of addition to serve as a guide to what is new at any given time. A brief guide to the subject of each article is also given.

Martin Luther and Omar ? A look at the origins of the Omarian couplet, still from time to time falsely attributed to Luther, “Who loves not women, wine, and song / will stay a fool his whole life long.” [Added November 2014.]

The Isabel Hawxhurst Hall Rubaiyat. A look at the rare edition of The Rubaiyat published by the Alice Harriman Company of New York in 1911, and illustrated with some extraordinary charcoal drawings by the 23 years old artist, Isabel Hawxhurst Hall. The essay also contains a brief account of the artist’s life, her work in stained glass, and a detailed look at her art and craft work as revealed in her diary for the year 1934 to 1935. [Initially added November 2014, with the updated and extended version added November 2019.]

Frank Chesworth and the “Clarion” Series of Omar Khayyam Postcards. A look at the six Rubaiyat-related postcards designed by the young artist Frank Chesworth in 1904 for the Socialist newspaper “The Clarion”. The article also looks at the keen interest of the paper's founder-editor, Robert Blatchford, in The Rubaiyat, as well as looking at a range of work by the little known and talented artist, Frank Chesworth, who committed suicide at the early age of 38. [Added November 2014.]

Rubaiyat for a Cotillon. A look at an edition of The Rubaiyat adapted for use in a series of seven masques or dance formations at an aristocratic party, probably somewhere near Edinburgh, on September 30th, 1909. [Added November 2014.]

Gilbert James. A look at the life and work of the artist and book illustrator Gilbert James. Though his Rubaiyat illustrations are well known from the many editions in which they appeared, little is generally known about his life. This article seeks to fill that gap, though it does not pretend to be anything like a full biography — and probably not a full bibliography of works illustrated by him either! The article also contains notes on Clement K. Shorter and Leonard Smithers. [Added May 2015.] With an Addendum on the fate of the originals of Gilbert James’s drawings and watercolours. [Added February 2017.]

Cecil G. Trew. A look at the life and work of the artist and book illustrator Cecil G. Trew – not a man, and not a pseudonym – whose illustrations of The Rubaiyat, The Book of Job and Benjamin Franklin’s Choosing a Mistress, all done in Los Angeles in the 1920s, contrast markedly with her later works, done back in England, and for which she is better known. [Added February 2016.]

David Eugene Smith. A version of The Rubaiyat put into verse by mathematician Smith, from translations by Hashim Hussein, and with illustrations by Rassam–i Arjangi. Published by the B. Westermann Company, New York, 1933. [Added October 2016.]

Helen Sinclair. A look at the life and work of this little–known artist, too few of whose Rubaiyat–related drawings and paintings have survived the ravages of Time. [Added November 2016.]

A Wisdenish Encyclopedia of Visual Kitsch ? A belated response to Robert Irwin’s review of Bill Martin & Sandra Mason’s book The Art of Omar Khayyam, but also a more general look at who has and who hasn’t illustrated The Rubaiyat in one form or another, including the top of a box of chocolates! [Added February 2017.]

Charles Conder & The Rubaiyat. A look at the Omarian elements in Conder’s paintings, his surviving drawings based on FitzGerald’s quatrains, and at the unillustrated 1891 Macmillan edition of The Rubaiyat which he illustrated by hand and gave to his friend Dugald MacColl. [Added July 2017.]

An Index to Ambrose George Potter’s Bibliography of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, compiled by Douglas Taylor. The inadequacy of the index in the Bibliography itself has long been a source of complaint. Douglas Taylor’s detailed index, compiled in the 1990s, is here made available online for the first time in a pdf format, Little information being available about Potter, it includes, as an Appendix, my own provisional biography of him. This is a corrected and updated version of the booklet produced for distribution at the Rubaiyat Research Day in Cambridge on July 9th 2016. [Added November 2017.]

Edward Heron–Allen: a walk on the wild side. A look at Heron–Allen’s condemnation of Baron Corvo’s homosexually slanted Rubaiyat & the notorious Venice Letters in the light of his own homoerotic tale of what he saw from his hotel window on holiday in Austria in 1931, a tale which has somehow survived, hand–written and clearly in draft form, on hotel notepaper. This is seen against a background of his fictional output generally, in particular the strange story of inter–species breeding, The Cheetah–Girl (1923), and his involvement in the publication of the lesbian novel Iraïs, by the enigmatic Carina Jacqueline M, in 1912. [Added December 2017.]

Edward Henry Whinfield: a Provisional Biography. Little is generally known about Whinfield, the civil servant and translator of Omar, and this brief biography is a first attempt to bridge that gap. [Added January 2018.]

William George Stirling. A provisional account of the life and work of Stirling, who illustrated both the enigmatic, opium–related, Lotus Library Rubaiyat in 1918, and the rather more orthodox, wine–related, Malay Rubaiyat of A.W. Hamilton in 1932. The later book was published openly bearing his name, but the earlier one bore only his initials in monogrammed form, which, intentionally or otherwise, hid his identity for many years. [Added July 2018.]

The Tale of Two Romany Rubaiyats. The story behind John Sampson’s translation into Welsh Romany and W.E.A. Axon & H.T. Crofton’s translation into English Romany. The story involves Augustus John, Francis Hindes Groome and George Borrow, not to mention Dante Gabriel Rossetti and the Gypsy Esmeralda, with whom Groome eloped in 1874. Not at all the dull story of scholarly translation one might expect, then! [Added October 2018.]

Fred Adlington’s Rubaiyat. Fred Adlington, a musician by profession, was a book illustrator active in the 1920s. Almost forgotten today, his illustrations for The Rubaiyat deserve to be better known, as indeed does his other art–work. Little information is available about him, and this essay is a first attempt to outline his life and career, as a musician as well as an artist. [Added January 2019.]

The Rubaiyat of E. Joyce Francis. A brief account of the life and work of E. Joyce Francis, starting with her illustrations for The Rubaiyat (Ebenezer Baylis Booklet no.6). and continuing through the various other works illustrated by her, to her work as an exhibited artist, and the story of Cae Newydd and her Arts and Crafts Café in Aberdovey. [Added August 2019.]

A Rubaiyat of the Trenches: who was de C ? Only two candidates have been suggested, William Edward Clery aka Austin Fryers and Alec de Candole. Though there is no direct and unequivocal proof, all the evidence points to the former. The article shows that the publisher of the poem was Frank Fawcett, and suggests that he may have been the anonymous “Friend” who wrote the Foreword. [Added October 2019.]

Doris M. Palmer and her Publisher Husband. Not much information is readily available about Rubaiyat artist Doris M. Palmer, and this article seeks to plug the gap, though not as fully as I would like. As rapidly became clear, her story is entwined with, and rather overshadowed by, that of her publisher husband. [Added March 2020.] With an Addendum incorporating much new information about the artist and her work provided by her grandchildren, Mary and John Byrde. [Added August 2022.]

John Yunge–Bateman. A naval officer, artist and book illustrator, he is probably best known for his rather erotic illustrations to FitzGerald’s Rubaiyat and Ovid’s Metamorphoses, both published by the Golden Cockerel Press in 1958. But he also illustrated a wide range of other books in an equally wide range of styles, from Shakespeare’s King Lear, via educational books on Natural History, to the 1950s Space–Age comic Rocket, edited by war–hero Douglas Bader. [Added April 2020.]

Thomas Wright of Olney. A look at the life and work of one of the earliest biographers of Edward FitzGerald. It is a fascinating story involving the reclusive Rubaiyat translator John Payne, an encounter with Swinburne’s famous penny–box copy of FitzGerald’s first edition, the little known artist Cecil W. Paul Jones (a descendant of Admiral John Paul Jones), and an obscure poetess who went by the name of Doris Hughes of Huntingdon. [Added May 2020.]

The Rubaiyat of Gordon Ross. One of few artists to have illustrated all 75 quatrains of FitzGerald’s first edition, Ross illustrated a wide range of other books during his career, and with considerable talent. This essay takes a detailed look at his output, from his humorous excursions into Matrimonial Mathematics and a tale of Ladies in Hades, to his illustrations of Dickens and his portraits for a series of Living Biographies of the famous. [Added May 2020.]

The Whitcombe and Tombs Rubaiyats. An attempt to construct a chronology for the various undated editions and reprints of The Rubaiyat published by the New Zealand firm of Whitcombe and Tombs in the 1940s, one of which featured in the Tamam Shud Case, one of Australia’s great unsolved murder (?) mysteries. [Added September 2020; updated January 2021.]

The Rubaiyat of Anne Marie. A study of an unfinished manuscript of the Rubaiyat illustrated by an artist who names herself on the title–page as “Anne Marie”, but whose full name was Annemarie Bonnet. The MS was intended for publication by Ben Abramson of New York, but for reasons unknown was never actually published. The article features all of her Rubaiyat illustrations, as well as those done for two other books published by Abramson, an interesting and well documented character in his own right, to whom some background space is devoted. But who was Annemarie Bonnet ? [Added October 2020.]

The Rubaiyat of Ronald Balfour. A study of Ronald Balfour’s frequently puzzling illustrations of The Rubaiyat, first published in 1920 and again in a revised edition in 1930. The article reveals much new information about the artist’s hitherto little–known life, now available thanks to online ancestry records and digital newspaper archives. It turns out not to be the story of a struggling artist, but the story of a privileged family and an involvement with fashionable ‘Society’ in the 1930s. [Added December 2020.]

The Rubaiyat of Ned Wethered. A study of “The Australian Omar Khayyam” – ten highly original and intriguing cartoons by the too–little–known, self–taught artist Ned Wethered, in which a hard–drinking Omar is transplanted into the early 20th century land of swagmen, accompanied everywhere by a lobster... Published by Gilmour’s Bookshop, Sydney, in 1926, it makes a refreshing change from contemporary editions illustrated by the likes of Gilbert James, Frank Brangwyn, and Willy Pogany. [Added April 2021.]

The Rubaiyat of Margaret R. Caird. A study of the numerous and complex sequence of editions of The Rubaiyat published by Collins’ Clear Type Press from the 1930s onwards. The study includes a brief biography of the artist, and looks at the other books illustrated by her, notably the children’s books she illustrated for Lady Margaret Sackville and Alice Berry–Hart. [Added July 2021.]

The Rubaiyat of Lawrence A. Patterson. A study of Patterson’s unusual and intriguing illustrations for FitzGerald’s fourth edition, published in San Francisco in 1926. The article gives a brief biography of Patterson, and covers the four other published books illustrated or decorated by him, notably the wonderful Golden Tales of Anatole France. [Added July 2021.]

Blanche McManus – Book Illustrator. Most people reading this will be interested mainly in Blanche McManus from the point of view of her Rubaiyat illustrations. But in fact, these were only a small part of her extraordinary artistic and literary output, which extended to children’s books, the verses of Rudyard Kipling, travel books (written with her diplomat & former publisher husband), an altar service book, and numerous calendars – one for smokers. The essay includes a provisional biography of the artist, about whom little information is generally available. [Added October 2021.]

The Rubaiyat of Marie Préaud Webb. Whilst her illustrations are well–known to Rubaiyat collectors, little information is generally available about the artist herself. This article seeks to plug that gap, and to give some information about the publisher James Hewetson and his son, Cecil Charles Hewetson, who became the artist’s husband and the C.C.H who wrote the Foreword to her Rubaiyat. The article also covers the strange story behind the related Domes of Silence edition of the Rubaiyat. [Added January 2022.]

Willy Pogany and the Rubaiyat of 1942. One edition of The Rubaiyat illustrated by Pogany has always seemed to me to stand out from the rest – that published by David McKay in Philadelphia in 1942. This essay seeks to throw some light on its genesis, as well as to establish its place in a chronology of the key editions of The Rubaiyat illustrated by the artist. It also explores Pogany’s use of black & white in other works, as well as his fascination with the nude. [Added February 2022.]

Two Mexican Rubaiyats. The curious story behind two editions of The Rubaiyat, both published in Mexico. One was a translation of FitzGerald into Spanish, by Eduardo Hay, and the other (strange to say), a translation into Welsh, by Thomas Ifor Rees. The article looks at the two editions, their illustrations and illustrators, their links to Edward Heron–Allen, and their possible, and seemingly unlikely, effect on the Mexican Oil Crisis which had begun in 1938. [Added May 2022.]

The Illuminated Rubaiyat Prints of Alan Tabor. These rare prints were produced by Manchester–based calligrapher and illuminator Alan Tabor between about 1915 and 1920, as part of a wide–ranging series of poem prints featuring the likes of Kipling, Longfellow, Tagore and Tennyson, along with many others, some little–known today. This article looks at the wealth of poetic material published by Tabor over the years, and how the poems he chose to illuminate relate to his life and religious beliefs. [Added June 2022.]

The Rubaiyat of S.C. Vincent Jarvis. Little information is generally available about the artist who illustrated this rare edition of The Rubaiyat, published by H.R. Allenson in London in 1911 – even the sex of the artist has remained something of a mystery. This article seeks to rectify that, starting with the discovery that the artist was a woman – Sarah Constance Vincent Jarvis – who was born in London in 1883 and who died in Paris in 1967. The Rubaiyat appears to be the only book illustrated by her. [Added August 2022.]

Ella Hallward, Edward Heron–Allen and H.S. Nichols. Ella Hallward did the frontispiece and decorations for Heron–Allen’s classic study, The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, Being a Facsimile of the Manuscript in the Bodleian Library at Oxford, with a Transcript into modern Persian Characters, published and printed by H.S. Nichols in 1898. But who was Ella Hallward ? This essay gives a biographical sketch of her life and work, her association with Heron–Allen, and the involvement of both with the intriguing though somewhat dubious character, H. S. Nichols. [Added August 2022.]

The Doughty Rubaiyat. The Mitre Press of London published The Illustrated Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam at an unspecified date, illustrated by an un–named artist. The only clue to the identity of the artist is the name DOUGHTY printed beneath each of the six illustrations. This article seeks to show that it was published in 1946 and was illustrated by Cecil Langley Doughty (1913–1985), an artist better known for his work for comics and magazines like Thriller Comics, Eagle and Look and Learn. [Added October 2022.]

Omar Khayyam’s Birthday Revisited. In 1941, in his Nectar of Grace, Govinda Tirtha calculated, on the basis of a known horoscope, that Omar Khayyam was born on 18 May 1048. In 2021 Mohammad H. Tamdgidi claimed that Tirtha’s calculations did not actually fit the horoscope, and that Omar was actually born on 10 June 1021. This article seeks to show that in fact Tirtha’s calculations were perfectly consistent with the horoscope; that Tamdgidi’s rejection of them was totally misguided; and that his 10 June 1021 – which involves invoking a double scribal error to make it work! – is effectively a false trail of his own devising. [Added November 2022.]

Mabel Eardley–Wilmot. The 1912 edition of The Rubaiyat illustrated with photographs taken by Mabel Eardley–Wilmot is well known, but little is generally known about the photographer herself. This article seeks to provide a brief biography of her, from her birth in England in 1867 to her marriage and sojourn in India; her possible visit to her brother in Persia; and her return to England as a breeder of cats, until her death in 1958. [Added April 2023.]

Alice Ross. Little is known about the Scottish book illustrator and artist Alice [Edith] Ross, whose illustrated edition of The Rubaiyat was first published in 1910. This article seeks to throw some light on her life and career, from her birth in Glasgow in 1863, to her death in Edinburgh in 1954. It also takes a look at the bewildering plethora of reprinted editions of her Rubaiyat, mostly undated, a series which, at present, it is quite impossible to document in full. [Added May 2023.]

Hope Weston. Very little is known about the artist, book illustrator and dust–jacket designer, not to mention novelist, [Doris] Hope Weston, whose highly unusual illustrated edition of The Rubaiyat was published in 1923. This article seeks to give an outline biography of her and to throw a little light on her work as a dust–jacket designer (of which more undoubtedly remains to be discovered.) Along the way we meet her older brother, one–time actor, silent film producer, and novelist, Harold Weston. [Added May 2023.]

Jeanyee Wong. Though her illustrations for an edition of The Rubaiyat, published by the Peter Pauper Press in 1961, are not among my favourites, I found myself much impressed by the quality and scope of her illustrations for various other books. This brief study of her life and work includes a representative sample of these, including some of the many (over 2000) dust–jackets she designed, and some examples of her extraordinary calligraphic skills, including a certificate done for MAD magazine! [Added July 2023.]

Vera Bock. Though her illustrations for an edition of The Rubaiyat, published by the Peter Pauper Press in 1949, did not impress me much at first, I found myself more intrigued and impressed by them after looking at many of the other books she illustrated, particularly those of a fairy tale or supernatural nature. In the process I found myself equally intrigued by her life story, from her birth in Russia in 1902 and her escape to America, with her family, in 1917 at the onset of the Russian Revolution, via her book illustrating career in the States from 1929 to 1973, to her death in Zurich in 2006 at the extraordinary age of 104! [Added August 2023.]

Guido Maria Stella. In 1906 S. Rosen of Venice published a miniature edition of The Rubaiyat illustrated by Guido Maria Stella. This tiny volume (5cm wide by 7cm tall) has always rather intrigued me, even though its illustrations are for the most part rather pedestrian and literal depictions of FitzGerald’s text. However, the artist turns out to be of considerable interest, and a study of his numerous and imaginative symbolist etchings makes one wonder why he wasn’t more adventurous in his Rubaiyat illustrations. Perhaps if he had done it a few years later, or for a different publisher, who knows ?.[Added October 2023.]

Jeff Hill. In 1956 the Peter Pauper Press published their first edition containing Hill’s illustrations for The Rubaiyat. Though not particularly impressive, they do gain in interest when seen against the background of his other work for the Press, with some 40 other works done for them between 1952 and 1979, His life and career are also of interest, much of it unfolding only after the realization that Jeff Hill was not his real name. [Added December 2023]

Paul McPharlin. Though McPharlin illustrated some twenty books for the Peter Pauper Press, including The Rubaiyat, generally reckoned to have been first published in 1940, he is probably better known as for his promotion of puppeteering as a respectable and serious art form. A man of many interests, as his numerous contributions to Notes and Queries testify, he lived with his parents until he was forty, married (somewhat hesitantly!) at the age of 44, but sadly died six months later of an inoperable brain tumour. [Added February 2024]

Kathleen O’Brien. The somewhat erotic nature of the illustrations in the Gornall edition of The Rubaiyat, published in Sydney in 1945, rather suggests that the artist, named on the cover only as O’Brien, was a man. In fact the illustrator was a woman, Kathleen O’Brien, better known for her cartoon strip “Wanda the War Girl.” The illustrator of a number of books, this article takes a brief look at her life and work, and almost certainly solves the mystery of “The Little Mermaid”. [Added March 2024]

Stephen Gooden. Well–known as a book illustrator, notably for the Nonesuch Press, this essay gives a brief account of his career and a general overview of his work. The main focus, though, is on his illustrations of The Rubaiyat (Harrap, 1940), which rather stand apart from his other work. This essay investigates their probable debt to the likes of Holbein’s “Dance of Death” woodcuts and other later works of this type. [Added April 2024.]

William G. Easton. Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam “with Decorations by William G. Easton” was published in 1910. This essay looks at other books illustrated or decorated by Easton, at his works exhibited at the Royal Academy, and at his work as a commercial artist, including his skilful use of scraperboard in advertising. The essay includes an outline of the artist’s life, enlivened by some fond memories of his grandson, Alan Witton. [Added June 2024.]


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