This is one of those unpredictable items that is conditioned against popularity by the fact that the average reader isn't interested in the subject. Perennially popular as is The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, the name of Fitzgerald is not automatically identifiable (try any ten people, if you question this). Let's try to put the biography over on its merits as first rate entertainment, thoroughly delightful, scholarly and yet easy reasing, a book that gives one a sense of knowing not only Fitzgerald, but his numerous friends,- Thackeray, Tennyson, Carlyle, Fanny Kemble, and many others. He was a lovable man, a ready wit, with sufficient income to enable him to travel and do as he pleased, a well-to-do bachelor, whose one effort towards matrimony ended in failure. His interest was attracted to Persian and Spanish translations; in 1859 his translation of The Rubaiyat was published anonymously. Its popularity swept over America; in England the Pre-Raphaelites gave it impetus. A few other translations, a few more Persian pieces, failed to equal the success of his first venture. A substantial section of the book deals with the subject of his major work.... Here's a book that could be sold on word of mouth endorsement.