Partner Joseph Fletcher

Queer Places:
19 King's Parade, Cambridge CB2 1SP, Regno Unito
39 Portland Pl, Marylebone, London W1B 1QQ, Regno Unito
31 Great Portland St, Fitzrovia, London W1W, Regno Unito
19 Charlotte St, Fitzrovia, London W1T, Regno Unito
39 Bolsover St, Fitzrovia, London W1W, Regno Unito
Hall Farm, Stockton Rd, Geldeston, Beccles NR34 0HQ, Regno Unito
St Michael, off Scott's Lane, Boulge, Suffolk, IP13 6BW, UK

Edward FitzGerald (31 March 1809 – 14 June 1883) was an English poet and writer, best known as the poet of the first and most famous English translation of The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. The writing of his name as both FitzGerald and Fitzgerald is seen. The use here of FitzGerald conforms with that of his own publications, anthologies such as Quiller-Couch's Oxford Book of English Verse, and most reference books up until about the 1960s.

Little was known of FitzGerald personally until his close friend and literary executor W. Aldis Wright, published his three-volume Letters and Literary Remains in 1889 and the Letters to Fanny Kemble in 1895. These letters reveal that FitzGerald was a witty, picturesque, and sympathetic letterwriter.[5] FitzGerald was unobtrusive personally but by the force of his distinctive individuality gradually influenced English belles-lettres broadly in the 1890s.[6]

FitzGerald's emotional life was complex. He was extremely close to many of his friends; amongst them was William Browne, who was sixteen when they met. Browne's tragic early death in a horse riding accident was a major catastrophe for FitzGerald. Later, FitzGerald became close to a fisherman named Joseph Fletcher, with whom he had bought a herring boat.[3]

FitzGerald grew more and more disenchanted with Christianity, and eventually ceased to attend church.[7] This drew the attention of the local pastor, who stopped by. Reportedly, FitzGerald told the pastor that his decision to absent himself from church services was the fruit of long and hard meditation. When the pastor protested, FitzGerald showed him to the door, and said, "Sir, you might have conceived that a man does not come to my years of life without thinking much of these things. I believe I may say that I have reflected [on] them fully as much as yourself. You need not repeat this visit."[7]

The 1908 book Edward Fitzgerald and "Posh": Herring Merchants (Including letters from E. Fitzgerald to J. Fletcher) recounts the friendship of Fitzgerald with Joseph Fletcher (born June 1838), nicknamed "Posh", who was still living when James Blyth started researching for the book.[8] Posh is also often present in Fitzgerald's letters. Documentary data about the Fitzgerald-Posh partnership are available at the Port of Lowestoft Research Society. Posh died at Mutford Union Workshouse, near Lowestoft, on September 7, 1915, at the age of 76.[9]


  1. Caufield, Catherine (1981). The Emperor of the United States and other magnificent British eccentrics. Routledge and Kegan Paul. p. 86. ISBN 0-7100-0957-7.
  2. "Fitzgerald, Edward (FTST826E)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
  3. "Edward Fitzgerald", PoemHunter
  4. Briggs, A.D.P. (1998). The Rubaiyat and the Bird Parliament. Everyman's Poetry.
  5. Sendry, Joseph (1984) "Edward FitzGerald" pp. 121–122 In Fredeman, William E. and Nadel, Ira B. (editors) (1984) Dictionary of Literary Biography, Volume 32: Victorian Poets Before 1850 Gale Research Company, Detroit, Michigan, pp. 118–132, ISBN 0-8103-1710-9
  6. Staff (10 April 1909) "Two Centenaries" New York Times: Saturday Review of Books p. BR-220
  7. Plomer, William (1978). Electric Delights. David R. Godine. p. 89. ISBN 0-87923-248-X.
  8. Blyth, James (1908). Edward Fitzgerald and 'Posh', 'herring merchants' Including letters from E. Fitzgerald to J. Fletcher. Retrieved 27 December 2017.
  9. Fitzgerald, Edward (2014). The Letters of Edward Fitzgerald, Volume 3: 1867-1876. Princeton University Press. p. 194. Retrieved 27 December 2017.
  10. Decker, Christopher (editor) (1997) "Introduction: Postscript" Edward FitzGerald, Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám: a critical edition University Press of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia, page xlv, ISBN 0-8139-1689-5
  11. Appelbaum, Stanley (editor) (1990) "Note" Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam Dover Publications, Mineola, New York, back cover, ISBN 0-486-26467-X
  12. Manchester, Frederick A. and Giese, William F. (editors)(1926) Harper's anthology for college courses in composition and literature Harper & Brothers, New York, volume 2, page 685, OCLC 1743706 Worldcat.org
  13. Blake, Victoria (editor) (1993) "Notes" Selected Stories of O. Henry Barnes & Noble Books, New York, pages 404 & 418, ISBN 1-59308-042-5