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     EVER since the Rubáiyát achieved its larger fame, the fact that Edward Fitzgerald made certain changes in succeeding versions of his translation has aroused interest among readers and students, but just what these changes comprised is known only to a few enthusiastic lovers of Omar.

     The question is answered once for all in the present book by printing the complete texts of all the original Fitzgerald editions (except the fourth) and a comparison by stanzas of the first, second, third and fifth editions showing variations from the final form in black face type--a new and graphic way of pointing out such changes. This method reveals many variants not discovered by former editors.

     Other special features are a list of slight variants shown in the fourth edition; text of stanzas which appeared only in tile first and second editions: comparative table of stanzas in the five editions; notes by Fitzgerald from the third and fourth editions: note by G. W. Aldis Wright from the fifth edition; bibliography of original Fitzgerald editions; biographical sketch of Fitzgerald from the memorial edition of 1887: and a Life of Omar Khayyám by Fitzgerald from the second and third editions.

In a word, the text and editorial matter of all five of ,the original printings (with other helps) are here included in one volume in the sincere effort to present not simply another edition, but the best possible edition of the Fitzgerald Rubáiyát yet published.

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