Edward Fitzgerald

Edward FitzGerald, 1809–83, English man of letters. A dilettante and scholar, FitzGerald spent most of his life living in seclusion in Suffolk. His masterpiece, a translation of The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, appeared anonymously in 1859 and passed unnoticed until Dante Gabriel Rossetti made it famous. Revised editions followed in 1868, 1872, and 1879. FitzGerald's Rubaiyat has long been one of the most popular English poems. Although actually a paraphrase rather than a translation of a poem by the 11th-century Persian poet Omar Khayyam, it retains the spirit of the original in its poignant expression of a philosophy counseling man to live life to the fullest while he can. Among FitzGerald's other works are Euphranor (1851), a Platonic dialogue, and Polonius (1852), a collection of aphorisms.

See his letters (ed. by A. M. and A. B. Terhune, 4 vol., 1980); biographies by A. M. Terhune (1947) and T. Wright (2 vol., 1904; repr. 1971).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

FREE! The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam: The Astronomer Poet of Persia
Edward Fitzgerald; Omar Khayyam.
John C. Winston, 1898
FREE! Polonius: A Collection of Wise Saws and Modern Instances
Edward Fitzgerald.
Thomas B. Mosher, 1901
FREE! Euphranor and Other Miscellanies
Edward Fitzgerald.
Macmillan, 1905
Letters of Edward FitzGerald
J. M. Cohen; Edward FitzGerald.
Southern Illinois University Press, 1960
FREE! The Letters of Edward FitzGerald to Fanny Kemble
William Aldis Wright; Edward FitzGerald.
Macmillan, 1895
FREE! Interpretations of Literature
Lafcadio Hearn; John Erskine.
Dodd Mead, vol.1, 1920
Librarian’s tip: "Edward Fitzgerald and the Rubaiyat" begins on p. 89
FREE! George Borrow and His Circle: Wherein May Be Found Many Hitherto Unpublished Letters of Borrow and His Friends
Clement King Shorter.
Houghton and Mifflin Company, 1913
Librarian’s tip: Chap. XXXI "Edward Fitzgerald"
FREE! The Literature of the Victorian Era
Hugh Walker.
University Press, 1910
Librarian’s tip: Discussion of Edward Fitzgerald begins on p. 241
A Saintsbury Miscellany: Selections from His Essays and Scrap Books
A. Blyth Webster; Sir Herbert Grierson; Sir George Saintsbury.
Oxford University Press, 1947
Librarian’s tip: "Fitzgerald's 'Omar Khayyam'" begins on p. 89
Edward Fitzgerald
Joanna Richardson.
Longmans, Green, 1960
A Treasury of Great Poems: English and American
Louis Untermeyer.
Simon & Schuster, 1942
Librarian’s tip: Discussion and text of "The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam" by Edward Fitzgerald begins on p. 838
FREE! Literary Memoirs of the Nineteenth Century
George Edward Woodberry.
Harcourt Brace and Company, 1921
Librarian’s tip: "Edward Fitzgerald" begins on p. 189
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