Library

A Boy's Will (1913)

First edition (there was only one printing of this edition).
The publishing and binding history of the first edition is complicated. The best account is given in Joan St. C. Crane, Robert Frost: A Descriptive Catalogue of Books and Manuscripts in the Clifton Waller Barrett Library, University of Virginia (Charlottesville, 1974), entry A2. The grouping of copies of the first edition below reflects her analysis; her terminology has been used.
RFA
13
1913
First issue, binding A (bronze pebble cloth, stamped in gold). 2 copies.
* Copy 1. Purchased with funds from the Frank L. Babbott Endowment.
* Copy 2 is inscribed by Frost to Martin K. Howes (Class of 1926), June 12, 1936, with 4 lines from "Revelation," and an additional note on the binding, initialed by Frost. Gift of the Estate of Martin K. Howes.
RFA
13
1913b
First issue, binding B (cream paper over boards, printed in red). 3 copies.
* Copy 1 is inscribed by Frost for James Notopoulos (Class of 1928), with one line from "Mowing"; a note indicates that he had purchased the book in 1929 at Oxford for 6/-. Gift of James Notopoulos.
* Copy 2 is signed by Frost and dated "Pittsfield June 2 1924"; this occurred on a visit to his daughter Lesley's book store there. The volume was sent four days later to Anne von Moschzisker, with a letter from Lesley (removed from the book; now MS RF 437). On March 8, 1925, Frost added the titles of two new poems at the end of the contents list, on p. ix, and wrote out the poems in full: "Unnoticed" on p. [x], with the inscription "For Robert and Anne von Moschzisker"; and "On a Star-Bright Night," with his initials, on the front free endpaper (below his earlier signature); these manuscript versions precede the first appearance of the poems in print. Frost inscribed the book yet again on December 10, 1955, for Jack W. C. Hagstrom (Class of 1955). A typed copy of Lesley Frost's letter, a later bookseller's description, and a tattered piece of glassine (presumably a portion of an original wrapper) have been removed from the book and placed in file (File RFA 13 1913a c.2 add). Bookseller's label of Foyles (London) at lower left of front pastedown. Originally in a red cloth slip-case, in a red cloth chemise (shelved with the volume). Gift of Jack W. C. Hagstrom.
* Copy 3 also has the bookseller's label of Foyle's (London) at lower left of front pastedown. [Backstrip loose at front edge.] Source unknown.
RFA
13
1913c
Second issue, binding C (linen-textured wrappers, printed in black with round flower ornaments and a bar on top of the "A"; without the stamped "Printed in Great Britain"). 1 copy.
* Gift of Katharine C. Cowles.
RFA
13
1913ca
Second issue, binding C (linen-textured wrappers, printed in black with round flower ornaments and a bar on top of the "A"; with "Printed in Great Britain" stamped on the verso of the title leaf). 3 copies.
* Copy 1 is inscribed by Frost to George F. Whicher (Class of 1910), with Whicher's bookplate. Gift of George F. Whicher.
* Copy 2 is inscribed by Frost to Russell Alberts, with 4 lines from "Going for Water"; later inscribed to Jack W. C. Hagstrom (Class of 1955). Originally in a green morocco folding case (shelved with the volume). Gift of Jack W. C. Hagstrom.
* Copy 3 is inscribed by Frost to Martin K. Howes (Class of 1926), with one line from "Mowing"; in original (?) glassine dust jacket. Gift of the Estate of Martin K. Howes.
RFA
13
1913d
Second issue, binding D (linen-textured wrappers, printed in black with diamond-shaped flower ornaments and no bar on top of the "A"), not numbered by Frost. 9 copies.
* Copy 1 is inscribed by Frost to Jack W. C. Hagstrom (Class of 1955), New York City, March 1956. Gift of Jack W. C. Hagstrom.
* Copy 2 is signed by Frost on the title page, with 2 lines from "Into My Own" and a separate small drawing (initialed). From the library of Martin K. Howes (Class of 1926). Gift of the Estate of Martin K. Howes.
* Copy 3 is inscribed by Frost to Katharine C. Cowles, with 2 lines from "The Trial by Existence." Gift of Katharine C. Cowles.
* Copy 4 is inscribed by Frost to Joseph Blumenthal. Gift of Joseph Blumenthal.
* Copy 5 has a variant version of "A Passing Glimpse" (here titled "A Glimpse in Passing") written out and signed by Frost on p. [xii]. Purchased with funds from the Friends of the Amherst College Library.
* Copy 6 is inscribed by Frost to Hugo Saglio (Class of 1931). Gift of Hugo Saglio.
* Copy 7 is inscribed by Frost to E. Porter Dickinson, Amherst, 1929. Gift of E. Porter Dickinson.
* Copy 8. Gift of Margaret Olds Strahl.
* Copy 9. Purchased from the Chiswick Book Shop, 1937, with funds from the Frank L. Babbott Endowment.
RFA
13
1913da
Second issue, binding D (linen-textured wrappers, printed in black with diamond-shaped flower ornaments and no bar on top of the "A"), signed and numbered by Frost. 2 copies.
* Copy 1 is no. 124, signed and numbered by Frost on the half-title; inscribed by Frost to Russell Alberts. Purchased.
* Copy 2 is no. 100, signed and numbered by Frost on the title page (with the number circled); with the bookplate of Jack W. C. Hagstrom (Class of 1955). Gift of Jack W. C. Hagstrom.
Second edition.
The printing history of this edition is obscure. In later works by Frost, a printing history is listed on the verso of the title leaf, but that page is blank in all printings of this edition. According to Crane (A2.1), the first printing (or some copies of it) contain the misprint "Aind" on the last line of p. 14. Beyond that, dating and sequence of printings is dependent on external evidence such as dated inscriptions or dates of acquisition. The order given here is thus largely conjectural. Newton McKeon had identified 7 printings up to 1927 from the Holt archives; all are dated "1915" on the title page. There are more minor binding variants than that, but some of those may have occurred among copies of a single printing. Careful physical examination of a large number of copies, combined with documentary evidence such as inscriptions or acquisition dates, may enable more accurate determination of printings and their order. No attempt has been made here to record all details of bindings.
RFA
13
1915
First printing (with misprint "Aind" in last line of p. 14 in all or some copies). (March 1915; dark blue cloth). 2 copies.
* Copy 1 is from the library of Martin K. Howes (Class of 1926). Gift of the Estate of Martin K. Howes.
* Copy 2 is inscribed by Frost to Jack W. C. Hagstrom (Class of 1955), "long long after the book was printed, NYC 1961"; with Hagstrom's bookplate and the signature of Milicent A. Campbell, "1/29/16". Gift of Jack W. C. Hagstrom.
RFA
13
1915b
Second printing (September 1915; dark blue cloth). 2 copies (assigned to this printing arbitrarily; from the inscription dates, they could be of the third printing).
* Copy 1 is inscribed by Frost to Mr. & Mrs. Trueworthy White, "not for nothing, July 4, 1916". Gift of Mildred Reynolds Caldwell.
* Copy 2 is inscribed by Frost to Gertrude Hall "with admiration for her work in prose and verse, Sept. 8, 1916, Franconia"; with a printed photograph of Frost mounted on frontpastedown, and a clipped portion of the dust jacket mounted on rear pastedown.
RFA
13
1915c
Third printing (March 1916; dark blue cloth). 3 copies (assigned to this printing arbitrarily; from the inscription date of one, they could be of the second printing).
* Copy 1 is from the library of Jack W. C. Hagstrom (Class of 1955). Gift of Jack W. C. Hagstrom.
* Copy 2 is signed by Frost on the title page; with stamped exlibris of Albert Neilson Slayton and bookseller's label of the Old Corner Book Store, Boston. Purchased.
* Copy 3 has 8 lines from "The Trial by Existence" written out and signed by Frost, and an initialed note about "My Butterfly" by him on p. 59; from the library of Philip N. Youtz (Class of 1918), with his signature. Annotations by Youtz on several poems are explained in his essay "Robert Frost's comments on his poetry" (MS Frost 380). Gift of Philip N. Youtz.
RFA
13
1915d
Fourth printing (July 1920; greenish blue cloth, with endpapers badly browned). 1 copy (assigned to this printing arbitrarily, having an ownership date close to the date of printing and of a different binding than the preceding copies).
* From the library of Jack W. C. Hagstrom (Class of 1955), with his bookplate; ms. exlibris of Ralph Neylon Barrett, Williamsport, Pa., Jan. 1921. Gift of Jack W. C. Hagstrom.
RFA
13
1915da
Fourth (?) printing (a binding variant: coarse light blue cloth, with endpapers badly browned. 1 copy (assigned to this printing arbitrarily, having an ownership date close to the date of printing and of a different binding than the preceding copies).
* Ownership signatures of Georgiana A. Hodekins (?), October 1922, and Katharine Cowles, August 1934. Gift of Katharine C. Cowles.
RFA
13
1915e
Fifth printing (November 1922; blue cloth). 3 copies (assigned to this printing arbitrarily).
* Copy 1 has Frost's signature, Amherst, 1924; from the library of Newton F. McKeon (Class of 1926). Gift of Mary Maury McKeon.
* Copy 2 has Frost's signature, Franconia, N.H., August 1925; with the bookseller's label of Lesley Frost's bookstore, The Open Book, Pittsfield, Mass. Gift of Mrs. Eugene T. Mudge, in memory of Eugene T. Mudge (Class of 1934).
* Copy 3 is inscribed by Frost: "Something there is that doesn't love a wall between friends, say Robert Frost to Samuel Cummings [Class of 1926]". Gift of Samuel Cummings.
RFA
13
1915f
Sixth printing (May 1924; dark bluish green cloth). 1 copy (assigned to this printing arbitrarily).
* Gift of Thomas H. Fleming.
RFA
13
1915g
Seventh printing (December 1927; blue cloth). 1 copy (assigned to this printing arbitrarily).
* Signed by Frost. Gift of the Estate of Edith Churchill.
RFA
13
1915h
Later printing? (title page undated; blue cloth, with thick-thin rule frame on front). 2 copies.
* Copy 1 is inscribed by Frost "To Hugo Saglio [Class of 1931]: One had to be versed in country things"; with Saglio's bookplate. Gift of Hugo T. Saglio.
* Copy 2 has the signature of Ralph Eugene Marcellino (Class of 1930). Gift of Ralph E. Marcellino.
RFA
13
1915i
Later printing? (title page undated; blue cloth, with double-rule frame with box corners on front). 1 copy.
* Inscribed by Frost for Richard H. Templeton (Class of 1931), with the full text of "A Cloud Shadow" (here titled "The Cloud Shadow" and with variant punctuation from the published version), 1931; signed by Templeton and dated December 18, 1930. Gift of Richard H. Templeton.
RFA
13
1992
Facsimile reprint of the first printing (with the misprint on p. 14; Collectors Reprints, New York; blue cloth). 2 copies.
* Copy 1 is in glassine dust jacket. Purchased.
* Copy 2 (with call number: RFA 13 1992a) is in glassine dust jacket; in a printed paper wrapper with a similar facsimile of A Boy's Will, issued as part of the Library of American Poets, with a broadside printing (in facsimile from Mountain Interval) of "The Road Not Taken"; the broadside has been removed and placed in file (call number: File RFA 13 1992a broadside). Purchased.
Third edition.
There was only one printing of this edition, which omits some poems (see Crane A2.2). It was printed by the Spiral Press and designated "First 1934 edition"; with woodcuts by Thomas Nason.
RFA
13
1934
Only printing (tan linen cloth). 2 copies.
* Copy 1 is from the library of George F. Whicher (Class of 1910), with his bookplate; in dust jacket. Gift of George F. Whicher.
* Copy 2 is inscribed by Frost to Otto Manthey-Zorn, with one line of "Mowing"; from the library of Martin K. Howes (Class of 1926); with dust jacket (in 2 pieces; placed in file). Gift of the Estate of Martin K. Howes.