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The Life of Robert Frost: A Critical Biography

ISBN: 978-0-470-65852-9
448 pages
April 2017, Wiley-Blackwell
The Life of Robert Frost: A Critical Biography (0470658525) cover image

Description

The Life of Robert Frost presents a unique and rich approach to the poet that includes original genealogical research concerning Frost’s ancestors, and a demonstration of how mental illness plagued the Frost family and heavily influenced Frost’s poetry.

  • A widely revealing biography of Frost that discusses his often perplexing journey from humble roots to poetic fame, revealing new details of Frost’s life
  • Takes a unique approach by giving attention to Frost’s genealogy and the family history of mental illness, presenting a complete picture of Frost’s complexity
  • Discusses the traumatic effect on Frost of his father’s early death and the impact on his poetry and outlook
  • Presents original information on the influence of his mother’s Swedenborgian mysticism
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

List of Abbreviations and Author’s Note xi

1. The New England Frosts 1

2. Rebel Sons and Punitive Fathers 8

3. Strong Man’s Food and Swedenborgian Mysticism 18

4. “A Boy’s Will Is the Wind’s Will” 26

5. Reluctant Yankees 39

6. Monuments to After‐thought 55

7. “Precipitate in Love” 64

8. Adventures in the Great Dismal Swamp 80

9. From Riffraff to Harvard 93

10. Deaths of a Son and a Hired Man 104

11. Indoor and Outdoor Schooling 121

12. Hen Man in the Academy 134

13. To the Land of The Golden Treasury 148

14. The Lively Gallows 167

15. Victory at Home 180

16. Amherst Interval 202

17. Sense and Sensibility 217

18. A Home that Never Was on Land or Sea 230

19. Something beyond Conflict 240

20. Delivering Battle 251

21. Weddings, Divorces, and Funerals 261

22. A Survivalist’s Further Range 278

23. Elinor’s Final Ordeal 294

24. Inferno to Vita Nuova 302

25. A Biblical Job by a Witness Tree 320

26. Mercy for the Damned 332

27. Mr Frost Goes to Washington 344

28. A Brief Shining Moment with the Kennedys 361

29. Last Act on the Global Stage 376

Notes 390

Bibliography 415

Index 423

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Author Information

HENRY HART is currently the Mildred and J. B. Hickman Professor of Humanities at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. He has published several books of literary criticism about modern poets, including The Poetry of Geoffrey Hill (1986), Seamus Heaney: Poet of Contrary Progressions (1991), Robert Lowell and the Sublime (1995), and The James Dickey Reader (1999). From 1984 to 2004, he was an editor of Verse, an international journal of contemporary poetry.

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