Carolyn Wells wrote the publication titled The Rubáiyát of Bridge, or The Rubaiyat of Bridge (without the accent marks). Since its initial release in 1909, this publication has been a favorite of the literary world owing to its prose and depictions of the so-called upper-class society of that era. The message contained in the poetry of the lines is also appropriate and suitable for that time.
A classic among the bridge publications. Carolyn Wells took the form of Omar Khayyam from Persia and constructed her poetry in this manner. A rubai is (in Persian poetry) a quatrain; or a poem in such stanzas. The designation of Rubáiyát is a derived form of rubai. The word itself is alledgedly a plural word derived from the root meaning 'four'. The outline of the poem itself is defined as a-a-b-a, whereby the first and second lines ryhme with the fourth line, whereas the third line does not necessarily have to ryhme. An example from the Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyam, as follows, illustrates this poetic form:
Come, fill the Cup, and in the fire of Spring
Your Winter-garment of Repentance fling:
The Bird of Time has but a little way
To flutter - and the Bird is on the Wing.
Carolyn Wells, born June 18, 1862 and dies March 26, 1942, was a very prolific writer in the United States. She lived most of her sheltered life in New York, New York, among the more wealthy classes of that time. Her genre was, to a very large extent, popular mysteries, humorous verses and poetry, and books for children. It is reported that she was a voracious reader and, as a result perhaps, assumed the position of librarian at the Rahway Library Association for many years.
Note: In New York, New York, in the year 1797, the first library was established in the area known as Rahway. The Bridgetown Library Company, or the Rahway Union Library, served as a private subscription library for those who could pay the entrance fee until about the mid-1830s.
In the late 1840s, a group of wealthy men collected 140 plus volumes for their own purposes. After several years, they turned the incipient library over to their wives, who founded the Rahway Library Association. Under the leadership of First Directress Catherine Craig Squier, the library opened to dues-paying members in a schoolroom on Oliver Street on June 15, 1858.
Six years later, the library was enough of a success that the husbands of the women who ran the library were asked to file an incorporation petition with the state legislature. The Rahway Library Association was incorporated on June 15, 1864, and the shares immediately sold by the husbands to their wives (who were not legally allowed to incorporate, but could own). Mrs. Squire continued as First Directress, serving for forty-nine years until her death in 1913.
Since 1858, the library in Rahway grew from 140 books and a single volunteer in one room to over 98,000 items and a staff of 24 in an 18,000 square foot building. Children's programs continued to be very popular and its innovative Teen Summer Reading Program was recognized in 1997 by the American Library Association as one of the fifty best activities for teens in this country.
In September 1999, the Library was struck by a tropical storm which rendered its building unustable, and it was demolished in October of the year 2000.
As a result of her love of books she began writing and then turned her attention to composing verse. Beginning in the early 1900s she eventually authored approximately 170 titles, among which are, strangely enough, The Rubáiyát of a Motor Car and also the famous The Rubáiyát of Bridge. She was also a constant contributor to many of the magazines and gazettes of that time, including the Lark, the Yellow Book, the Philistine, and others. Her autobiography, The Rest of My Life, appeared on the literary scene in New York, New York, in the year 1937, five years before her death.
The publication is presented, owing to an expiration of the copyright laws, on this site as a reminder that even a small game, such as bridge, can be the catalyst for something wonderous and beautiful as the consequence of the efforts of a Carolyn Wells.
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