Edward FitzGerald

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FitzGerald, Edward

FitzGerald, Edward, 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).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Fitzgerald, Edward


Born Mar. 31, 1809, in Bredfield, Suffolk; died June 14, 1883, in Merton, Norfolk. English poet and translator.

Fitzgerald graduated from Cambridge University in 1830; his philosophical prose dialogue Euphranor (1851) recalls his years at the university. Fitzgerald’s translation of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam (1859; 25 editions prior to the end of the 19th century) has been deemed a classic in English literature. In his free translation of the Persian original, in which only 49 quatrains are more or less precisely translated, 44 are corruptions, several belong to other poets, and three are the work of Fitzgerald himself, Fitzgerald accentuated themes of joie de vivre and melancholy, contrasting them to the dull prose of bourgeois existence. In addition to bringing world renown to Omar Khayyam, his translation had a significant influence on the poetry of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. Fitzgerald also translated works by Sophocles, Aeschylus, Calderón (six dramas), and Jami.


Poetical and Prose Writings, vols. 1–7. New York–London, 1902–03.
Dictionary of Madame de Sévigné, vols. 1–2. London, 1914.


Istoriia angliiskoi literatury, vol. 3. Moscow, 1958. Page 33.
Terhune, A. M. The Life of Edward Fitzgerald. London, 1947.
Arberry, A. J. The Romance of the Rubaiyat. London, 1959.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Se habia establecido que el enigma era doble: por un lado, la perplejidad de que Edward FitzGerald haya podido dar al idioma ingles uno de los productos poeticos mas bellos de su historia; por otro lado, la naturaleza del nuevo autor que emerge tras el ejercicio de la traduccion.
Critique: A superbly written, organized, and presented biography of a truly remarkable (and occasionally controversial) man, "Fitz: The Colonial Adventures of James Edward FitzGerald" is informative, engaging, and entertaining from beginning to end.
This version (still with 101 quatrains) appeared in 1889 as part of The Letters and Literary Remains of Edward FitzGerald, edited by his friend William Aldis Wright.
Then in 1980 there appeared The Letters of Edward FitzGerald in four volumes, edited by Alfred McKinley Terhune and Annabelle Burdick Terhune--a complete, fully annotated edition of the letters and an invaluable resource.
What Sebald essentially did, both in his critical and quasi-novelistic work, was to retell stories, above all, episodes from the lives of troubled, rootless, haunted outsiders like himself: Thomas Browne, Joseph Conrad, Roger Casement, Edward Fitzgerald, and Chateaubriand in The Rings of Saturn; Holocaust survivors Dr.
Like The Emigrants, too, this book is populated by a host of displaced persons - men who are not at home in their country, era, or class; this time, many of them, including Conrad, Chateaubriand, Swinburne, Stendhal, Edward FitzGerald, and Sebald's friend Michael Hamburger, are writers and translators.
The most famous example of the genre known in the Western world is the rubaiyat of `Omar Khayyam, in the version The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam (1859), translated by Edward FitzGerald.
A translation by Edward Fitzgerald became popular in Western countries after Khayyam's death - over 600 years later.
Edward Fitzgerald, 50, of Walmersley Road, Bury, has been charged with murder.
His barrister Edward Fitzgerald QC told the court the serial sex NHS chief labels call THE head of NHS England has called on the Government to introduce tougher food labelling post-Brexit in a bid to tackle the UK's obesity crisis.
His barrister Edward Fitzgerald QC told the court the serial sex attacker had "readily accepted" proposals for additional monitoring - including electronic tagging and lie detector tests.
Worboys' lawyer Edward Fitzgerald QC yesterday urged High Court judges to "exercise the greatest care" when considering overturning it.