Letters of Edward FitzGerald

Letters of Edward FitzGerald

Letters of Edward FitzGerald

Letters of Edward FitzGerald

Excerpt

Edward FitzGerald, the least productive of the great Victorians, wrote the best letters of his age. Indeed, he stands with Gray, Cowper, Horace Walpole and Lamb among the supreme masters of this humble branch of literature. Into his copious correspondence with his many friends, among whom were some of the greatest writers of the day, went a wealth of comment, criticism, humour, description, speculation and wry scholarship that would have been sufficient to make him the outstanding essayist, and perhaps one of the best critics of the arts, of his time. But FitzGerald's ambitions were few, his interests were diffuse, and his creative powers were broken by the fears and despondencies of his difficult temperament. Except for his free translation of the Rubáiyat ofOmar Khayyám, he wrote nothing that has achieved popular favour --nothing indeed that deserves it, except his Letters, now long out of print, of which we here present a selection. To the . . .

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