A Boy's Will, hand-numbered "76" and signed by Frost, Robert Frost.
A Boy's Will, hand-numbered "76" and signed by Frost,
A Boy's Will, hand-numbered "76" and signed by Frost,
A Boy's Will, hand-numbered "76" and signed by Frost,
A Boy's Will, hand-numbered "76" and signed by Frost,
A Boy's Will, hand-numbered "76" and signed by Frost,
A Boy's Will, hand-numbered "76" and signed by Frost,
A Boy's Will, hand-numbered "76" and signed by Frost,
A Boy's Will, hand-numbered "76" and signed by Frost,

A Boy's Will, hand-numbered "76" and signed by Frost,

London: David Nutt, 1913. First edition. Wraps. This first edition, final binding variant of Frost’s first published book is #76 of the final 135 copies signed and numbered by the author in 1943. First published in England in 1913, the publication history of A Boy’s Will is complicated by the fact that the reported 1,000 first edition sheets saw two issues in four variant bindings, owing in part to the bankruptcy of the original publisher (Nutt) and sale of unbound first edition sheets during the subsequent liquidation, followed in turn by still further sales of remaining sheets and later bindings thereof. When the original publisher went out of business, the remaining stock of unbound sheets passed in ownership from Simpkin Marshall and then to Dunster House, ultimately to become the “second issue” in bindings “C” and “D”. “In 1943 Herman Cohen of the Chiswick Book Shop, New York, bought the stock of Dunster House when that shop went out of business. In that stock he found 135 copies of A Boy’s Will, second issue, binding D.” (distinguished by the lack of a bar surmounting the titular front cover “A” and a device featuring two four-petaled flowers above two dots and a thin perpendicular wedge in descending order). “Cohen consulted Captain Louis Henry Cohn of The House of Books, Ltd., New York, whom he knew to be a close personal friend of Robert Frost. Captain Cohn asked Frost to sign and number the 135 copies, and Frost agreed to do so.” Frost wrote of the arrangement “It's an irony of time that they should come round to me in the way they have.” (Crane, A2, p.9) This copy, one of the 135, is hand-numbered “76” and signed by Frost on the title page. Condition is good plus. The fragile wraps binding is square, tight, complete, and firmly attached. We note light wear to extremities, a small upper front cover corner crease, incidental soiling, and modest toning to the binding extremities and spine. The contents are clean; we find no previous ownership marks and a hint of trivial spotting is confined to the text block edges. What prevents our grading this copy as “very good” is two-inch vertical length of old cello-tape remnant on the lower half title recto with a tiny .125 x .375 inch (.32 x .95 cm) hole at the head of the tape remnant. The book is protected within a clamshell case featuring green morocco leather spine with gilt print and decoration over tan cloth boards, the interior lined with tan paper closely matching the color and texture of the wraps. Iconic American poet and four-time Pulitzer Prize winner Robert Lee Frost (1874-1963), the quintessential poetic voice of New England, was actually born in San Francisco and first published in England. When Frost was eleven, his newly widowed mother moved east to Salem, New Hampshire, to resume a teaching career. There Frost swiftly found his poetic voice, infused by New England scenes and sensibilities. Promising as both a student and writer, Frost nonetheless dropped out of both Dartmouth and Harvard, supporting himself and a young family by teaching and farming. Ironically, it was a 1912 move to England with his wife and children – “the place to be poor and to write poems” – that finally catalyzed his recognition as a noteworthy American poet. The manuscript of A Boy’s Will was completed in England and accepted for publication by David Nutt on 1 April 1913. “Yeats pronounced the poetry “the best written in America for some time” and Frost received “two extraordinary tributes in the Nation and the Chicago Dial and a superb review in the Academy.”" (ANB) By 1924 he had won the first of his eventual four Pulitzer Prizes for poetry (1931, 1937, and 1943). Frost spent the final decade and a half of his life as “the most highly esteemed American poet of the twentieth century” with a host of academic and civic honors to his credit. Two years before his death he became the first poet to read in the program of a U.S. Presidential inauguration (Kennedy, January 1961). Bibliographic reference: Crane A2. Item #005523

Price: $2,400.00

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