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ZABELLIANA: Life & Art of Zabelle Boyajian

Life & Art of the Magnificent Polymath 
Painter, Poet, Playwright, Translator, Multi-Linguist
(b. 1872, Diyarbakir, d.1957, London)

Speaker: Khatchatur I. Pilikian

Joint public meeting, Wednesday 6th April 2016: 7.30pm-9.00pm
Talk and slide show 
Free to attend (retiring collection)

Marx Memorial Library
37a Clerkenwell Green
London EC1

Residing in London in early 1900, Zabelle studied at Slade School of Fine Art. She becmae the author of the first play in the English language, Gilgamesh, a Dream of the Eternal Quest, published in 1924, based on the Sumerian epic poem, Gilgamesh, of the second millennium BC.

Zabelle's mother, Catherine, was a kinswoman of the poet Samuel Rogers (1763-1855), and of the Egyptologist Samuel Sharp (1794-1881). Zabelle's father was Thomas Boyajian, the British Vice Consul in Turkey (victim of the Hamidian genocidal massacres of 1894-1896).

After the world was engulfed in the total war of WW1, culminating in the Genocide of the Armenians in 1915, Zabelle fought back by publsihing, in 1916, her Armenian Legends & Poems - another first in the English language. Soon, the noted Shakespeare scholar Sir Israel Gollancz invited her to contribute a poem - which she did - commemorating the tercentenary of the Bard's death, in a book he edited, titled, Book of Homage to Shakespeare, published in late 1916. Hence, ZABELLIANA in 2016.


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