“A PROLIFIC AND DELIGHTFUL LETTER-WRITER, WHOSE ANECDOTES… HAVE BEEN A GOLD-MINE TO BIOGRAPHERS”: SUMPTUOUSLY BOUND LIMITED EDITION OF EDWARD FITZGERALD’S LETTERS AND LITERARY REMAINS
FITZGERALD, Edward. Letters and Literary Remains of Edward FitzGerald. London and New York: Macmillan, 1902-03. Seven volumes. Octavo, contemporary full plum morocco, elaborately gilt-decorated spines and boards, raised bands, green morocco doublures, watered silk free endpapers, top edges gilt, uncut and partly unopened. $3800.
Limited edition, one of only 775 copies, of poet and translator Edward FitzGerald’s delightfully anecdotal and biographically informative correspondence, his justly celebrated and cherished versions of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam and other works, finely bound in full morocco-gilt.
From his days as a student at Trinity College, Cambridge on, FitzGerald’s several close friendships with such luminaries as Tennyson and Carlyle “were directly responsible for one of his finest contributions to literature—his letters. Though not as widely known as his translation of the Rubaiyat”—all four major editions of which (1859, 1868, 1872 and 1879) appear in this set—“they are considered by many to be of equal literary merit. These letters are also important as being the chief source of biographical material about the man… When [William Makepeace] Thackeray was asked which of his old friends he had loved most he replied, ‘Why, dear old Fitz, to be sure” (Kunitz & Haycraft, 224-25). In addition to the correspondence and the Rubaiyat texts, this edition, limited to 775 copies, presents FitzGerald’s renditions of dramas by Aeschylus, Sophocles and Calderon. With engraved frontispiece portrait in each volume. Handsomely bound in full contemporary morocco, the boards elaborately framed in gilt rules and leafy sprays with small morocco onlays to boards and spines. Drabble, 351.
Interiors clean. Spines uniformly toned to brown. Expert restoration to a few joints and headcaps. An excellent set in a distinguished, elaborately gilt-decorated binding.