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Paas, J.R.

'Under Omar's subtle spell': American Reprint Publishers and the Omar Craze. J.R. Paas.
In: FitzGerald's Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám. Popularity and neglect. Ed. by A. Poole et al. London, Anthem Press, 2011. pp. 127-146.

By 1900 a cult of sorts with Omar and FitzGerald as the focus existed on both sides of the Atlantic, but what has yet to be clarified is the seminal role that American reprint publishers played as they first responded to the public’s interest in the Rubáiyát and then contributed to the spread of the cult. These enterprising publishers offered the public a range of inexpensive reprint editions of FitzGerald’s poem and in the process developed clever marketing strategies that continue to this day. The impact which they had on the cultural acceptance of the Rubáiyát cannot be overestimated, and the purpose of this essay is to shed light on how this happened.