The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam:
1879 Bernard Quaritch First Published Edition of Fourth Translation Edition

This 1879 Bernard Quaritch edition contains the fourth edition text and the Salaman and Absal of Jami. And I am very confident that is the first published edition of the fourth edition text. It sounds funky: the first edition of the fourth edition. But that is what I am very confident this is.

How do I know this?

We have to look at the edition that I thought would be the closest I’d ever get to a proper original: The 1902 Thomas B. Mosher Bernard Quaritch 1859 Facsimile Edition. This edition contains, amongst other wonderful information and a facsimile of the 1859 edition, information on other first/critical editions. If you look at the page for the first Fourth Edition, you will see how it aligns with this edition based on the title page and the spine. I’m not fluent on the meanings of all the notations, but it seems to flow with my copy. That is why I am very confident that this 1879, besides the year, is the first printed fourth edition.

The only issue is the lack of Frontispiece (the ‘Frontispiece, as in first edition of “Salámán and Absál”’). I am guessing that my copy is just missing that page. This listing on Schilb Antiquarian looks like my copy, but in way better condition, and the image gallery shows the frontispiece that mine is lacking. My copy’s binding is in really poor condition, so a page or so being missing seems extremely likely given that. Repairs needed!

As always, contact me if you know what something means/you find issue with my reasoning.

I’m very proud to have found and acquired this copy. It will probably be forever the oldest edition on my site unless I decide to invest a great deal of money and purchase one older. As such, it is one of my crown jewels!

The Book Itself

The Poetry

The fourth edition of the translation.