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Edward FitzGerald’s Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám

A Famous Poem and Its Influence

Edited by William H. Martin and Sandra Mason

Edward FitzGerald’s Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám

A fascinating examination of the text of Edward FitzGerald’s three main versions of the Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám, with commentary on the origins, role and influence of the poem.

Imprint: Anthem Press
ISBN 9780857287700
June 2011 | 182 Pages | 216 x 140mm / 8.5 x 5.5 | 10+ bw illustrations
PRICE:  £9.99  /  $17.95  Buy from Amazon.co.uk  Buy from Amazon.com

About This Book

‘William H. Martin and Sandra Mason’s edition is a worthy addition. Seeming to respond to Edmund Gosse’s entreaty, in an introduction to a deluxe 1902–1903 American edition of FitzGerald’s works, to “regain in the study of him a little of his own chaste moderation,” Martin and Mason have succeeded, as is their stated aim, in producing a highly accessible version of the text.’ —Ailise Bulfin, ‘English Literature in Transition, 1880–1920’

‘[“Edward FitzGerald’s Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám: A Famous Poem and Its Influence” and “FitzGerald’s Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám: Popularity and Neglect”] are dual complementary works of scholarship, reflection, and academic research, in the strongest sense of the adjectives. Scholars, academics, literary critics, translators, and those who love poetry and share Khayyam’s and FitzGerald’s twofold concerns with the human lived experience of being and nonbeing will find these twin texts of much interest.’ —Erick Nakjavani, ‘Iranian Studies’

The book presents the text of Edward FitzGerald’s three main versions of the Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám in an easily accessible form, together with a non-technical commentary on the origins, role and influence of the poem. The reader is given a chance to evaluate each of FitzGerald’s alternative texts as a whole and to examine how the poet presented his texts to the public and annotated the verses. The commentary discusses the lives and work of Khayyám and FitzGerald, and recounts the fascinating story the publication of the Rubáiyát and its rise to great fame and popularity, including a look at the wide-ranging spin-offs the poem has generated in art, music and other fields. The editors use the latest research to analyze the poem’s worldwide influence during the 150 years since its first appearance and the continuing relevance of the poem in the world of the 21st century.

Readership: The book will be useful to students learning about the Rubáiyát and to general readers curious about the Rubáiyát and its position in the literary and social history of the past 150 years. It will also be an excellent gift for lovers of the Rubáiyát.

Author Information

Bill Martin and Sandra Mason are independent researchers with a long-standing interest in the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, particularly the interpretation of these quatrains by Edward FitzGerald. They were actively involved in creating exhibitions and other projects to celebrate the FitzGerald anniversaries in 2009 as a Year of the Rubaiyat.

Table of Contents

Introduction; Acknowledgements; List of Illustrations; Part 1. Edward FitzGerald’s Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám; A Note on the Texts; First Edition (1859); Second Edition (1868); Fourth Edition (1879); Edward FitzGerald’s Notes; Edward FitzGerald’s Prefaces; Part 2. The Rubáiyát, Its Story and Its Influence; Omar Khayyám and his Rubáiyát; Edward FitzGerald and his Rubáiyát; The Poem Itself; How the Rubáiyát Became Popular; Worldwide Spread and Influence; Exploitation in Many Forms; Relevance to the Modern Day; Notes to Part 2; Part 3. Further Notes and References; The Texts Presented – Editors’ Notes; Quatrain Numbers in the Rubáiyát; Note References in the Rubáiyát; Glossary of Names and Terms; Further Reading and Online Resources; Index