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131820 131820_1 131820_2
131820
(OMAR KHAYYÁM.) FITZGERALD, Edward.

Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám...

the Astronomer Poet of Persia. Rendered into English Verse. Second edition.

Availability: In stock

Published: London Bernard Quaritch, 1868

Stock Code: 131820

£2,750
OR On display in 43 Dover Street

Notes

Second edition, substantially expanded and revised from the first of 1859. Five hundred copies of the second edition were printed, with Quaritch selling each at a price of 1s. 6d.; when a copy re-appeared in their catalogue in 1929, it had already reached a price of 52 10s. (Potter, p. 12). FitzGerald substantially revised the text of the Rubáiyát four times, with none of these five versions seen as truly definitive. The second edition is the longest at 110 quatrains.
Omar Khayyám (1048-1131) was a Persian mathematician, astronomer, philosopher, and poet, author of about a thousand quatrains. The fact that Omar Khayyám is the most famous poet of the East in the West is entirely due to FitzGerald's celebrated adaptations, which would prove to be the "most popular verse translation into English ever made" (Decker, p. xiv). FitzGerald himself referred to his work on the Rubáiyát as a "transmogrification" rather than translation, describing how he "mashed up" several stanzas into one, and calling the result "A pretty little Eclogue tessellated out of Omar's scattered quatrains". It is reasonable to suggest that in its own way the lyrical agnosticism of FitzGerald's Rubáiyát was to be every bit as influential on the advent of modernism as Darwin's Origin of Species published in the same year as the first edition. Many of FitzGerald's phrases have entered the common stock of English quotations and allusions.

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Description

Quarto (204 x 156 mm). Near-contemporary green morocco by Proudfoot of Euston Square, spine lettered in gilt, quadruple gilt fillet border to covers and turn-ins, marbled endpapers, top edge gilt.

Condition

Bookplate with monogram CN (or NC) and Latin motto, engraved by Allen Wyon (1843-1907). Spine and extremities a little toned and very slightly rubbed, very minor creasing to first few leaves. A near-fine copy.

Delivery

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