Omar Khayyam. Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. Rendered into English verse by
Edward FitzGerald. London, Bernard Quaritch, 1872. Third Edition. Jeweled
binding by Sangorski and Sutcliffe, London. Front cover has oval sunken
panel containing onlaid snake wrapped around onlaid apples with inlaid
leaves and 14 sapphires. Back cover has a sunken panel inlaid and jeweled
with 12 garnets. Doublures of brown levant inlaid with blue, green and red
and heavily gilt. Fly leaves of brown levant, inlaid and gilt.
The first edition of the Rubaiyat was published in London by Quaritch in
1859. Edward FitzGerald, 1809-1883, the translator, had it printed in
modest form, without illustrations. The book did not sell and was reduced
from half a crown to a shilling, finally to a penny. Algernon Charles
Swinburne and Dante Gabriel Rossetti discovered the book in the penny box.
In spite of high praise from Rossetti and Swinburne, there was so little
demand for the book that a second edition was not published for nine years.
During FitzGerald's life two more editions were published with many
corrections and omissions.