Sunk on the Titanic, burned in World War II, the book’s founder drowned

Stanley Bray

But when it was opened, only a black mass was found. The sheer heat of the fire had melted the leather cover and charred the pages.

Maggs says the book conspired against those who wanted to protect it:

As in Titanic: “What is the safest way to send this book to America? They say, ‘Send him in an absolutely unsinkable ship,’ and the more you try, the worse the result will be.’

With the end of the war in 1945, Bray began work on a third edition.

For this, most of the leftover jewelry from previous editions has been recycled.

After an estimated 4,000 hours of work, the third edition was finally completed and made available to the British Library in England.

The article written after his death in December 1995 described the book as “a memorial to a lifetime’s work”.

The book is still in this library, but access is rarely allowed.

According to Maggs, there is a congruence between the history of the Rubais and the theories of Omar Khayyam, whose wisdom inspired master craftsmen to commemorate the poet-philosopher with gold, jewels and leather.

Maggs: “In a way, the whole story is like a parable, because the main message is: ‘enjoy life, but know that it will end, be aware’; It’s almost like a kind of curse,” he says.

“That’s what the Rubais say,” says Maggs.

“If you can afford it, why not? Do. But know that you will die and you cannot take it with you.’

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