The Rubàiyàt of Omar Khayyàm
- FitzGerald, Edward
Poets Featured with External Resources
Other Works in the Collection by the Photographer(s)
The first of pictorial photographer Adelaide Hanscom Leeson’s two editions of FitzGerald’s Rubàiyàt, the 1908 volume is one of the most important early-twentieth-century photopoetic books, demonstrating a determined and skilful move away from topography-centric illustration towards a more metaphorical, figure-based approach to the pairing of text and image. Hanscom Leeson approached The Rubàiyàt using male and female nudes, manipulating negatives, and engaging with Persian symbolism to create images that proved the most radical and unconventional of her photographic career and provided her with major professional success.
Approaching photopoetry as a kind of translation (that is, with an illustrative agenda, most photographers attempted descriptive rather than evocative or metaphorical images) it is interesting to note with The Rubàiyàt that its own textual instabilities crept into the photopoetic editions. Hanscom Leeson, for example, chose the fourth edition (1879) but Mabel Eardley-Wilmot the original translation (1859), of the four published within FitzGerald’s lifetime and the one posthumous edition. One important factor of this choice was Khayyám’s reduced presence as narrator in the later editions, something that Hanscom Leeson appears to manipulate, replacing the inconsistent (or even absent) lyric voice with a photographic one.
This book can be found in the University of St Andrews Library catalogue HERE
Related Books by Subject
Related Photographic Collections
Website design: Callum Kenny, School of Computer Science
Website text: Michael Nott, School of English. The original idea for the website came from Professor Robert Crawford of the School of English, who continues to act as Project Consultant.
Scanning by the Digital Humanities team of the University of St Andrews Library (Carys Adamson, Kyle Brady, Elaine Miller) with assistance from reprographics staff in the Special Collections Division.
Website images: Edward R. Dickson, The Poems of the Dance, 1921 (Homepage, right); Mabel Eardley-Wilmot, The Light of Asia, 1908 and 1911 (Photographers page & External Resources page); Emma Justine Farnsworth, Sunshine and Playtime, 1893 (Home page, top, and Books page); Robert Smirke, The Seven Ages of Man, 1864 (Poets page). Books digitised on this site have been established as out of copyright and no copyright issues are known to exist.
© 2015. The University of St Andrews is a charity registered in Scotland, No. SC013532. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org