Three New Robert Frost Letters, an Inscription, and an Unrecorded Emendation

By Monteiro, George | Papers on Language & Literature, Winter 1993 | Go to article overview

Three New Robert Frost Letters, an Inscription, and an Unrecorded Emendation


Monteiro, George, Papers on Language & Literature


Among the books and literary manuscripts in the Koopman Collection at Brown University - a collection put together by Philip D. Sherman of Oberlin College - are three letters from Robert Frost to Sherman, along with an inscribed copy of Frost's third volume of poems, Mountain Interval, published by Henry Holt in 1916.

All three letters - hitherto unpublished - date from 1916.(1) The first one replies to a letter from Sherman.

Franconia N.H. August 26 1916

Dear Prof Sherman:

Have I or have I not answered the question of your letter of a month ago? I should have said that I had; but here is your letter in my file of letters still undealt with. At the risk of repeating myself, let me say that "North of Boston" was first published by David Nutt in London in 1914, my other book " A Boy's Will" by David Nutt in London in 1913. Henry Holt will be publishing my third book, ["]Mountain Interval, ["] this fall.

Thanking you for the interest that prompted your enquiry. I am

Sincerely yours Robert Frost

Nearly two months later Frost wrote again, this time, apparently, with no epistolary prompting from Sherman.

Franconia N.H. October 22 1916

Dear Mr Sherman:

Perhaps I took a liberty in mentioning you to my fellow editors of The Seven Arts as one who might be interested in our venture-at least in my part of it. For I am expected to do something for it once in so often in prose or verse. I don't know that I am qualified to speak of its aims. I suppose it wants to be the freshest the most signal thing in American magazines. I shall have have [sic] next to nothing to do with shaping its destinies. I am no more than a contributing editor. James Oppenheim and Louis Untermeyer are going to make it what it is going to be; and they are both fine fellows and writers of distinction.

I'm afraid you weren't asked to notice the new magazine in just the terms I myself would have chosen. The letters that have gone out from the business department have given offense to one or two of my friends. The letter that has come round to me is in very bad taste and calculated to put me in a very false light. I am sure that none of my editorial friends had anything to do with formulating it.

The magazine may be badly advertised. I think it will be a good magazine. Let's hope that it will even be stirring.

Always sincerely yours Robert Frost

The third letter is, once again, an answer to a letter from Sherman. …

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Three New Robert Frost Letters, an Inscription, and an Unrecorded Emendation
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