FITZGERALD, Edward (1809-1883). Poet and translator.
Important series of 14 Autograph Letters Signed (variously signed 'E Fitzgerald', 'Littlegrange', 'E Fitz-Littlegrange' and initials), in all 47 pages 8vo, 1876-1883, where dated Written to Henry Schûtz Wilson (1824-1902, literary scholar).
Wilson was an ardent admirer of Fitzgerald's work and the first to name him in print as the translator of Omar. The two became friendly correspondents for some years. Fitzgerald affected an introduction, at Wilson's request, with Fanny Kemble, though he somewhat grudgingly wrote to her that Wilson had 'solicited an Introduction to you ... and then proposed to you to avail himselfof it. That I thought he had better have waited for, rather than himself proposed; and I warned you that I had been told of his being somewhat of a 'prosateur' at his Club' . Nonetheless, this correspondence shows a mutual admiration and interest in each other's work.
Wilson's other consuming interest was mountain-climbing. He ascended the Matterhorn in 1875, a feat that formed the basis of his book Alpine Ascents and Adventures, and other articles mentioned favourably by Fitzgerald in this correspondence.
Though all but one of the letters are published, the source for them is in every case the Athenaeum, and not the originals. In all, 17 letters were given by Wilson to the Athenaeum for publication; 14 if them are present in this collection. It may be supposed that this archive has been unavailable from the time of their original publication.
The letters consist of:
Autograph Letter Signed ('Edward FitzGerald'), 4 pages 8vo, 12 Marine Terrace, Lowestoft, 26 April ; Thanking Wilson for his piece in the Contemporary (in the March edition, Wilson had first named Fitzgerald as the translator of the Rubiyat) and discussing the difficulties involved in reading Persian, recalling that Tennyson had had to give up his study of the language 'because of the characters worrying the Eyes'. See The Letters of Edward Fitzgerald, edited by Alfred McKinley Terhune and Annabelle Burdick Terhune, Princeton University Press, 1980, Volume III, page 674.
Autograph Letter Signed ('E FitzGerald'), 3 pages 8vo, Woodbridge, 30 July 1876; sending a copy of his version of Aeschylus, affecting shame at its fine 'dress' ('not my doing but Mr Quaritch's, and simply implies - a very small sale'). Terhune, Volume III, page 690.
Autograph Letter Signed ('E FitzGerald'), 4 pages 8vo, Woodbridge, 1 August 1875; demurring at Wilson's suggestion of reviewing Aeschylus in the Athenaeum, again apologising for the grandness of the publication ('I tell Mr Quaritch he will draw the "Evil Eye" on Agamemnon by bringing him out in such fine type, as bad as Clytemnestra's Purples'). See Terhune, Volume III, page 692.
Autograph Letter Signed (signature excised, with a note stating 'signature cut off & given to Thomas Hutchinson / 14/11/19'), 2½ pages 8vo, Woodbridge, 2 August 1876; apologising for requiring Wilson to write twice, casting doubt on the worth of an article that 'might turn out to be "Figs!" in public estimation' and thanking him for his book on the Alps. See Terhune, Volume III, page 693, which notes a short postscript excised from the original along with the signature.
Autograph Letter Signed ('Edward FitzGerald'), 4 pages 8vo, 12 Marine Terrace, Lowestoft, February 1877; thanking Wilson for his book sent as he was 'just going among your Mountains'. A note in another hand erroneously identifies it as Wilson's Alpine Ascents and Adventures, which was not published until the following year. See Terhune, Volume IV, page 14.
Autograph Letter Signed ('E. FitzGerald'), 4 pages 8vo, 12 Marine Terrace, Lowestoft, 'Sunday' ; thanking Wilson for sending the Country Gentleman's Magazine number with a piece on the Matterhorn, as well as an Athenaeum extract announcing Mrs Cadell's proposed translation of Omar, and reminiscing about the origins of his own ('he has had a much longer Life than ever he looked for when he was exposed as a penny Foundling in Quaritch'sCastle Street Shop near 20 years ago.'). See Terhune, Volume IV, page 23.
Autograph Letter Signed ('E. FitzGerald'), 4 pages 8vo, Little Grange, Woodbridge, 'Longest Day of 1877' [21 June]; acknowledging that he has seen the Atlantic (which contained a review of his Agamemnon), and opining that American reviewers had a clearer view of literature than those who were in closer proximity to them. See Terhune, Volume IV, pages 46-47.
Autograph Letter Signed ('E. FitzGerald'), 4 pages 8vo, Littlegrange, Woodbridge, 28 January 1882; recalling Wilson's favourable reviews of his work and reporting that he has forwarded Wilson's letter asking for an introduction to Mrs Kemble ('She lives not in Cheltenham, but always ... in London'). See Terhune, Volume IV, page 477.
Autograph Letter Signed ('E. FitzGerald'), 2 pages 8vo, Littlegrange, 'Thursday' [26 February 1882]; sending a copy of 'old Omar and his rather heavy Companion "Solomon and Absalom"', and thanking Wilson for his article which instigated the publication of the fourth edition. See Terhune, Volume IV, page 485.
Autograph Letter Signed ('Littlegrange'), 4 pages 8vo, Woodbridge, [February 1882]; urging Wilson to 'entirely please yourself about Salaman', and offering his opinion of the generation of Salaman ('one cannot account for the childish short-comings of even the best Oriental Imagination'). See Terhune, Volume IV, pages 488-489.
Autograph Letter Signed ('Littlegrange'), 4 pages 8vo, Woodbridge, 20 January 1883; an effusive letter of thanks for Wilson's review of Sàlaman and Absàl in Tinsley's Magazine. See Terhune, Volume IV, pages 548-549.
Autograph Letter Signed ('E. Fitz-Littlegrange'), 4 pages 8vo, Woodbridge, 19 February ; a letter to accompany his work on Crabbe (Readings in Crabbe), suggesting that two dozen copies are all that may be sold, and alluding to Wagner ('not one of whose works I have ever heard'). See Terhune, Volume IV, page 552.
Autograph Letter Signed ('Littlegrange'), 3 pages 8vo, Woodbridge, [23 February 1883]; insisting that he, and not his publisher, Quaritch, is reponsible for the shortcomings in his book, and thanking Wilson for sending only a simple 'thank you' in acknowlegement of its receipt. See Terhune, Volume IV, page 558.
Unpublished Autograph Letter Signed ('E.F'), 2 pages 8vo, Woodbridge, 'Friday' no date; Thanking Wilson for 'St James which put me on the Matterhorn once more', suggesting that there should be a portrait of Melchoir, and remarking on the touching description of a descent.