This edition presents the classic free translation by Edward Fitzgerald of the great Persian poem by the 12th century astronomer and poet - Omar Khayyám. Fitzgerald's masterful translation was first published as an anonymous pamphlet in 1859. Its colourful, exotic and remote imagery greatly appealed to the Victorian age's fascination with the Orient, while its luxurious sensual warmth acted as a striking counterpoint to the growth of scientific determinism, industrialisation and the soulless Darwinian doctrine of the survival of the fittest. Greatly praised by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Swinburne, Ruskin and William Morris, the romantic melancholy of the poem anticipates the poetry of Matthew Arnold and Thomas Hardy, while its epicurean motifs link it to the Aesthetic Movement.
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