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Edward FitzGerald
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    (March 31, 1809-June 14, 1883)
    Born in Bredfield, Suffolk, England, United Kingdom
    Birth name was Edward Purcell
    Translated 'The Rubiyat of Omar Khayyam' (1859)
    He said that his entire family was insane and that he, too, was mad, but at least he was aware of the fact.
    He wrote 'I am an idle fellow of a very ladylike disposition.'
    His original works were less remembered than his translations.
    His translation of Khayyam took so many liberties with the original text that some critics dubbed it 'The Rubiyat of FitzOmar.'
    He admitted that in translating the 'Rubiyat,' he chose poetic effect over fidelity, noting 'Better a live Sparrow than a stuffed Eagle.'
    The 'Rubiyat' was so popular that 43 of its 107 stanzas were quoted in full in 'The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations.'
    Tennyson dedicated 'Tiresias' to his memory.
    A.S. Byatt wrote, 'FitzGerald's verse is insiduously memorable. It sings in the mind.'

Credit: C. Fishel

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