Chronology and key dates
1809 Born near Woodbridge, Suffolk.
Christened Edward Purcell.
Family name changed from Purcell to FitzGerald in 1818. *
1826-30 Attended Cambridge University.
1837 Return to Woodbridge, living at Boulge.
1844 Meets Edward Cowell. Introduced to Persian studies by him.
1851 Publication of FitzGerald’s Euphranor.
1853 Publication of FitzGerald’s Six Dramas of Calderon.
Cowell enrols at
1856 Graduation of Cowell.
Discovery by him of the Ouseley manuscript of the
Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam
in the Bodleian Library.
Cowell copies and sends this
Departure of Cowell to India.
Cowell finds another manuscript of the Rubaiyat
in the library
of the Asiatic Society of Bengal. Has a copy made and sends it to
FitzGerald marries Lucy Barton in November. They separate in August 1857.
1857 FitzGerald receives copy of Calcutta manuscript from Cowell.
1859 Publication of first version of
The Rubaiyat, anonymously by
1862 First pirated edition, Madras, India.
1868 Publication of second version of
The Rubaiyat by Quaritch, again
1870 First American edition. Second version in a limited private print.
1872 Publication of third version of
1878 First published American edition, based on FitzGerald’s third version.
1879 Publication of fourth version of
together with his reduced
translation of the Salaman and Absal story by Jami.
1883 Death of FitzGerald.
1884 First illustrated edition of Rubaiyat published by Houghton Mifflin in
1889 Publication of fifth version of
The Rubaiyat in collection of Letters and
1899 Publication of FitzGerald’s version of Attar’s Conference of the
together with a version of Salaman and Absal.
1903 Publication of definitive edition of FitzGerald’s, Letters and
with details of all editions of The Rubaiyat