b. March 31, 1809, Suffolk, Eng. — d. June 14, 1883, Norfolk
Fitzgerald is best known for his free adaptation of The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám from 12th c. Persian into English.
In March 1859 the Rubáiyát was published in an unpretentious, anonymous little pamphlet. The poem attracted no attention until, in 1860, it was discovered by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, and soon after by Algernon Swinburne. Its appearance in the same year as Darwin's Origin of Species, when the sea of faith was at its ebb, lent a timely significance to its philosophy, which combines expressions of outright hedonism ("Ah take the Cash, and let the Credit go") with uneasy ponderings on the mystery of life and death.
FitzGerald was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he formed a lifelong friendship with William Makepeace Thackeray. Soon after graduating in 1830, he retired to the life of a country gentleman in Woodbridge. Though he lived chiefly in seclusion, he had many intimate friends, including Alfred, Lord Tennyson and Thomas Carlyle, with whom he kept up a steady correspondence.
Quoted from Britannica Online
Last modified 1996
Note added 5 November 2015