Edward FitzGerald

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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 KhayyamOmar Khayyam
, fl. 11th cent., Persian poet and mathematician, b. Nishapur. He was called Khayyam [tentmaker] probably because of his father's occupation. The details of his life are mostly conjectural, but he was well educated and became celebrated as the outstanding
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, 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).

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.
References in periodicals archive ?
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.
In The Rings of Saturn, which may be Sebald's finest book, the author explores, among other things, the staggering losses of the 8th British Air Fleet in World War II (9,000 planes and 15,000 crewmen engaged in the cruel and pointless campaign to break the morale of Germany's civilians by carpet-bombing its cities), the spread of unemployment and illiteracy in and around Lowestoft, the ominous dwindling of herring catches, the bitter death in their Ukrainian exile of two Polish patriots who happened to be Joseph Conrad's parents, the incurable lifelong loneliness of Edward Fitzgerald, the horrific massacres of the Taiping Rebellion, and the decline of sericulture in Europe.
Edward Fitzgerald lawyer, representing Qatada, has said the cleric has now been in detention for seven years - "the longest period of administrative detention as far as we know in modern English history".
Edward Fitzgerald, representing Qatada, said the arguments for deportation were based on "a series of unsubstantiated claims".
The submission was made by Edward Fitzgerald QC, representing Sutcliffe, now known as Peter Coonan, for his challenge against a High Court judge's ruling that he must serve a "whole life" tariff.
Edward Fitzgerald, QC, appearing for Mann, argued there was new evidence from the Foreign Office to support Mann's case, and allowing extradition to process would violate his human rights.
Edward Fitzgerald QC, for Mann, argued there was new evidence from the Foreign Office to support Mann's case.
The idea to link such an excellent poet as Omar Khayyam to such an excellent translator as Edward Fitzgerald is very nice and it's interesting to use the art of calligraphy especially the excellence of Persian calligraphy," Italian Cultural attachE[umlaut] in Tehran Carlo G.
Yesterday, his QC Edward Fitzgerald accused Smith of reaching a "flawed" decision.
Edward FitzGerald begins the concluding paragraph of his final letter to Alfred Tennyson by relieving him of any obligation to write back.
At a recent hearing, Edward Fitzgerald QC, appearing for both men, asked two senior judges to halt extradition, arguing there was a danger that their human rights would be abused, despite diplomatic assurances from the US Government.
During those proceedings Edward Fitzgerald QC, for Hamza, argued that the long delay in bringing a prosecution against him had made a fair trial "impossible".