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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
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