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The History of Ottoman Poetry, published between 1900 and 1909 in six volumes, is the most important fruit of E J W Gibb's long devotion to Turkish literature. Only one volume had appeared in print by the time of his early death in 1901 but the remainder was almost complete and was seen through the press by E G Browne. It was designed to give the English reader a clear account of the subject. The first volume includes discussions of themes, verse forms and rhetoric and also of the earliest West-Turkish poetry up to 1450. The story is then carried through to the revolution caused by the adoption of European models in the later 19th century. Gibb was concerned to avoid a purely biographical approach and carefully analysed the works of the poets, tracing the development of style, which, before the Modern Movement, was to a great extent a matter of Persian influences and reaction to them. Volume VI contains Turkish texts of the pieces quoted earlier in the translation. No comparable English study has appeared since and the work is still valuable to students.
The Gibb Memorial Trust was set up by Mrs Gibb in memory of her son E J W Gibb to promote researches into the history, literature, philosophy and religion of the Turks, Persians and Arabs, to which E J W Gibb devoted his life.
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