A Victorian writer and translator
, these days celebrated and remembered solely for his translation of The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám
He was born at Bredfield House in Suffolk on 31 March 1809 to a wealthy family. He was educated at Bury St Edmunds and Trinity; and never travelled far or took up any kind of profession, but often came to London, and was friends with Tennyson, Thackeray, and Carlyle. Tennyson dedicated Tiresias to him.
When he wasn't with his London set he lived in cottages on the Suffolk coast and went sailing with fishermen. His wife Lucy (1809-1898) was the daughter of the poet Bernard Barton (1784-1849), but the marriage quickly ended in separation. His first book (1849) was a biography of his future father-in-law. FitzGerald died on 14 June 1883.
Other works included
- Euphranor 1851, anonymously, a dialogue on youth
- Polonius 1852
- translations of six plays by Calderón, 1853
- Salámán and Absál by Jámi, 1856, anonymously, his first translation from the Persian
- the famous Rubáiyát, 1859, extended later
- the Agamemnon of Aeschylus, 1865
- The Parliament of the Birds by Farid-ud-Din Attar
- translation of Sophocles
- selections from the Suffolk poet George Crabbe
- letters: he was a voluminous and delightful letter-writer, with selections appearing from 1889 and the full collection in 1980