Home ] Up ] 2009 ] Illustration ] Who's who ] About us ] Links ]





Follow this link to see the latest news about Rubaiyat research and other activities


Subscribe to the blog by e-mail and join in the comment with your own posts


Edward FitzGerald and his Rubaiyat

(this information is taken mainly from our book The Art of Omar Khayyam )

Chronology and key dates  

1809 Born near Woodbridge, Suffolk.  Christened Edward Purcell.  

        Family name changed from Purcell to FitzGerald in 1818. *

1826-30 Attended Cambridge University.

1837 Return to Woodbridge, living at Boulge.

1844 Meets Edward Cowell. Introduced to Persian studies by him.

1851 Publication of FitzGerald’s Euphranor.

1853 Publication of FitzGerald’s Six Dramas of Calderon.

          Cowell enrols at Oxford University.

1856 Graduation of Cowell. 

        Discovery by him of the Ouseley manuscript of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam 

           in the Bodleian Library. 

        Cowell copies and sends this to FitzGerald.


        Departure of Cowell to India. 

        Cowell finds another manuscript of the Rubaiyat in the library 

           of the Asiatic Society of Bengal. Has a copy made and sends it to FitzGerald.

        FitzGerald marries Lucy Barton in November. They separate in August 1857.

1857 FitzGerald receives copy of Calcutta manuscript from Cowell.

1859 Publication of first version of The Rubaiyat, anonymously by FitzGerald.

1862 First pirated edition, Madras, India.

1868 Publication of second version of The Rubaiyat by Quaritch, again anonymously.

1870 First American edition. Second version in a limited private print.

1872 Publication of third version of The Rubaiyat.

1878 First published American edition, based on FitzGerald’s third version.

1879 Publication of fourth version of The Rubaiyat, 

           together with his reduced translation of the Salaman and Absal story by Jami.

1883 Death of FitzGerald.

1884 First illustrated edition of Rubaiyat published by Houghton Mifflin in Boston.

1889 Publication of fifth version of The Rubaiyat in collection of Letters and 

            Literary Remains.


1899 Publication of FitzGerald’s version of Attar’s Conference of the Birds, 

            together with a version of Salaman and Absal.


1903 Publication of definitive edition of FitzGerald’s, Letters and Literary Remains, 

           with details of all editions of The Rubaiyat


*  Edward FitzGerald (EFG) is sometimes confused with Edward Marlborough Fitzgerald (no capital 'G').  The latter went up to Trinity in 1824, two years before FitzGerald 'the translator of the Rubaiyat.  Edward Marlborough Fitzgerald had a somewhat chequered career, and EFG was at pains to avoid being confused with him - see especially Terhune's Letters, vol 1, p.605 note.

Back to top


          Home ] Up ] 2009 ] Illustration ] Who's who ] About us ] Links ]

The content of these pages is copyright (c) Leisure Consultants 2009