FIVE-LANGUAGE EDITION OF THE RUBÁIYÁT
KHAYYÁM, Omar. The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám. Boston: L.C. Page, 1898. Two volumes. Octavo, early 20th-century three-quarter brown morocco gilt, raised bands, elaborately gilt-decorated spines, marbled boards and endpapers, top edges gilt, uncut. $1200.
“Multi-Variorum” edition of Khayyám’s classic, with “English, French, German, Italian and Danish translations comparatively arranged in accordance with the text of Edward Fitzgerald’s version,” illustrated with 12 photogravures.
“The work on which [Fitzgerald’s] fame will mainly rest is his marvellous rendering of the Quatrains of Omar Khayyám, the astronomer poet of Persia, which he has made to live in a way that no translation ever lived before. In his hands the Quatrains became a new poem, and their popularity is attested by the four editions which appeared in his lifetime. But when they were first published in 1859 they fell upon an unregarding public, as heedless of their merits as the editor of a magazine in whose hands they had been for two years previously” (DNB). Thorough introduction with a discussion of Khayyám’s translators. Volume II consists of appendices for individual quatrains. Potter 576. Owner bookstamp, gift inscriptions.
Interiors fine; expert repairs to spines, light wear to extremities. Near-fine condition.