A Boy's Will

FROST, Robert

FROST, Robert A Boy's Will

David Nutt, 1913.

First edition, first issue, binding A. Original bronze pebbled cloth, titled in gilt to upper cover, edges uncut. Inscribed to his close friend and fellow Dymock poet Wilfrid W. Gibson: "W.W.G. from R.F. Sept. 1913." Housed in custom cloth chemise and slipcase. A very good copy, the spine a little faded, and with occasional spotting internally.

An exceptional presentation copy of Frost's first book.
When A Boy's Will was published in March 1913, Gibson and Frost had not yet met, though Frost had read Gibson's Daily Bread (1910) and Fires (1912) with some admiration. At the time Gibson was a poet of some standing, and was living in a small room above Harold Monro's Poetry Bookshop. He read Frost's debut collection on publication, and later that year wrote to Frost and told him to come to the Bookshop and show him some new poems.
Their first meeting and early friendship is memorialised in Gibson's poem 'The First Meeting', as well as in this book, inscribed for Gibson by Frost in the September. The following year Gibson would convince Frost to move to Dymock, and was the key node connecting him to Rupert Brooke, Edward Thomas, John Drinkwater and Lascelles Abercrombie. Immediately before the move, Frost wrote to Sidney Marsh confessing "I have no friend here like Wilfrid Gibson" (March 1914).
Of roughly 1000 copies of the first edition, approximately 350 were issued by Nutt in bindings A and B, before the company went into bankruptcy after the First World War. Copies in the first issue in the primary binding are uncommon, and presentation copies of such literary magnitude are rare.

PROVENANCE: Wilfrid W. Gibson (1878-1962; presentation inscription from the author); William E. Stockhausen (sold at Sothebys, 14 December 1974, lot 704).

Stock ID: 40840

£17,500.00

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