Edward FitzGerald

1809-1883

'It is He that hath made us, and not we ourselves'

 

Edward FitzGerald is buried in the churchyard of the small, isolated Church of St Michael & All Angels, Boulge, Suffolk, England. (Follow the road from Bredfield to Debach and then turn left onto a concrete track). (See map...ref no. 24) His grave is situated next to the FitzGerald family mausoleum. 

FitzGerald refused to live at Boulge Hall with the rest of his family and chose instead to live in a single story thatched cottage on the family estate for 16 years. He was a great friend of Alfred Tennyson.

Fitzgerald is mainly remembered today for his translation from the Persian of The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám. He first published it anonymously in 1859 and then enlarged it in subsequent editions in 1868, 1872 and 1879.

Grave of Edward FitzGerald.

Church of St. Michael and All Angels

Fitzgerald made translations of other Persian works including: Bird Parliament by Attar and Salaman and Absal by Jami. He also made a selection of the work of fellow Suffolk poet George Crabbe.

He was married to Lucy Barton - the daughter of the Quaker poet Bernard Barton for a brief period, but the couple were unsuited. Lucy was extremely fussy while FitzGerald seldom shaved and was chronically untidy. After the collapse of the marriage he became friendly with a Lowestoft fisherman called Joseph 'Posh' Fletcher. The two men bought a herring lugger named the Meum et Teum but the venture soon collapsed due to Fletcher's alcoholism and FitzGerald's lack of business acumen.

FitzGerald died in his sleep at the Old Rectory at Merton in Norfolk while visiting George Crabbe - the grandson of the poet.

A clipping from a rose tree which grew on the tomb of Omar Khayyam at Nishapur in Iran (previously Persia) was planted at one end of Fitzgerald's grave in 1893.  Six more rose trees were planted around the grave in 1972.

The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ, 
Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit
   Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.

From The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám (complete poem)

Boulge Church

Click here to buy poetry by Edward FitzGerald

 

 


 

 

 
 
 
 

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