New Hampshire: A Poem with Notes and Grace Notes. Robert Frost, four woodcut, J. J. Lankes.
New Hampshire: A Poem with Notes and Grace Notes
New Hampshire: A Poem with Notes and Grace Notes
New Hampshire: A Poem with Notes and Grace Notes
New Hampshire: A Poem with Notes and Grace Notes
New Hampshire: A Poem with Notes and Grace Notes

New Hampshire: A Poem with Notes and Grace Notes

New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1923. J. J. Lankes. First edition, first printing. Hardcover. This is the first trade edition, first printing of the book that won Robert Frost his first Pulitzer Prize. In addition to being notably clean, this copy has lovely provenance. The first edition is a lovely production, bound in quarter dark green linen cloth over dark green paper-covered boards, with a gold paper label on the front cover illustrated and printed in black, and gilt print and decoration on the spine. The contents are printed on untrimmed white wove paper with gilt top edge, illustrated with four woodcuts by J. J. Lankes (1884-1960), and bound with mottled tan endpapers and yellow and green head and foot bands. Condition of this copy is very good, particularly noteworthy for shelf presentation and atypically clean contents. The lovely but fragile publisher’s binding is square and tight, with no fading or appreciable soiling, beautifully bright gilt spine print, and handsome shelf presentation. We note light scuffing to the paper-covered boards, and trivial shelf wear to extremities, including the cloth at the spine ends, and bumps at the lower front cover corner and the center bottom edge of the rear cover. The contents are excellent, notably bright and clean with no spotting and no appreciable age-toning. The sole previous ownership mark is the lovely, illustrated circular sticker of the legendary bookshop The Sunwise Turn. Founded and operated by Mary Mowbray-Clarke and Madge Jenison, Sunwise Turn was located in midtown Manhattan from 1916 until it closed in 1927. “One of the first bookstores in the U.S. to be owned by women, Sunwise Turn sponsored lectures by Robert Frost, Theodore Dreiser, and Amy Lowell among others. It was the first “gallery” to exhibit the work of the painter Charles Burchfield among other new artists of the time, which perhaps influenced the artistic tastes of their young intern named Peggy Guggenheim.” (newyorkboundbooks.com) Iconic American 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. A 1912 move to England with his wife and children – “the place to be poor and to write poems” – finally catalyzed his recognition as a noteworthy American poet. There A Boy’s Will was published in 1913. A convocation of critical recognition, introduction to other writers, and creative energy supported the English publication of Frost’s second book, North of Boston, in 1914, after which “Frost’s reputation as a leading poet had been firmly established in England, and Henry Holt of New York had agreed to publish his books in America.” Accolades met his return to America at the end of 1914 and by 1917 a move to Amherst “launched him on the twofold career he would lead for the rest of his life: teaching whatever “subjects” he pleased at a congenial college… and “barding around,” his term for “saying” poems in a conversational performance.” (ANB) New Hampshire was published in October 1923 and, in 1924, won Frost the Pulitzer Prize “For the best volume of verse published during the year by an American author”. It was to be the first of his eventual four Pulitzer Prizes for poetry (1931, 1937, and 1943). In an honor accorded few poets, Frost would achieve significant fame and recognition in his lifetime. 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 A6. Item #005807

Price: $360.00

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