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With Friends Possessed

Robert Bernard Martin
Date Published
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‘[Edward] FitzGerald (1809-1883) won a small piece of immortality with his translation-adaptation of The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam… but in every other way he seems to have successfully avoided fulfilment. A godless Epicurean, he lived in permanent virginity, never pressing his homosexual desires beyond a number of sentimental crushes… The son of a fabulously rich heiress, he rarely travelled… Though he had many friends he also had a perverse penchant for alienating them… [Robert Bernard] Martin argues that FitzGerald’s greatest achievement, outside the Rubaiyat, is his letters, which certainly have grace and a wistful charm.’ Kirkus Review

‘There is [] something sad about the life of this loving and never quite satisfied man… Mr. Martin’s biography is splendid reading, and it is a real credit to it that he makes us feel the sadness.’ New York Times

Robert BernardMartin

Robert Bernard Martin (1918-1999) was born in Illinois. He had a distinguished academic career and was Professor Emeritus of English at Princeton University, USA, from 1951 to 1975, before retiring to Oxford, where he became a writer. He published ten books about the Victorian era, including biographies such as Tennyson, the Unquiet Heart in 1980 and A Very Private Life…

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