Friday, May 6, 2022

"Editorial Rutland"

Cover image from Frost's "New Hampshire"
Here at Rauner, we're fortunate to have one of the best, if not the best, collections of Robert Frost books and manuscripts anywhere in the world. In addition to his notebooks, correspondence, and calendars (among other things), we have first editions of all of his books of poetry, many of them duplicated many times over. Most of those editions are presentation copies, and Frost was fond of scribbling a message or a poem of his in the flyleaf along with his signature.

First page of Frost's letter to DuntonIn one of our copies of New Hampshire, instead of a poem or lengthy address, there is a letter from Frost to the book's owner, Edith Dunton, who lived in Rutland, Vermont. In his letter, Frost says that he hopes that the recipient will find this book of poems preferable to his previous works, which he notes "seem to have made no great hit in Rutland." He goes on to say that he had been told that "Editorial Rutland saw nothing in [his] work to compare with the work of some judge or other."

Despite Editorial Rutland's misgivings about Frost's work, New Hampshire would go on to win the 1924 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry and included such well-known favorites as "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" and "Fire and Ice."

To read Frost's letter for yourself, come to Rauner and ask to see Frost PS3511.R94 N4 1923.