Beyond the Book: Background information when reading Fall of Frost

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Fall of Frost

A Novel

by Brian Hall

Fall of Frost by Brian Hall X
Fall of Frost by Brian Hall
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Mar 2008, 352 pages
    Paperback:
    Apr 2009, 352 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Amy Reading

Buy This Book

About this Book

Beyond the Book

Print Review

Little Known Facts About Robert Frost

By the end of his long life, Robert Frost was the éminence grise of American letters, a man whose legend preceded him and who often collaborated in promulgating that legend. Yet Brian Hall depicts a Robert Frost who is distinctly more complex than the one most of us encountered in high school, that "simple rustic," that plain-spoken New Englander who extolled the virtues of rural life. Consider these infrequently mentioned details of the Frost mythos:

  • The bard of rural New England was, in fact, born in San Francisco and raised there until age eleven, when his father died. His father had requested to be buried in his hometown of Lawrence, Massachusetts, and his mother resettled there with Frost and his sister after honoring that last wish.
     
  • Frost was a terrible farmer. He did seem to enjoy raising chickens, but he was afraid of cows and erratic in his work habits, preferring to take rambling walks and come back to sit at the kitchen table and write poetry. He spent his whole life protesting that he only "played" at farming, but nothing he said dented the public image of the poet-farmer.
     
  • Frost lied about his age for much of his life. He claimed to have been born in 1875, when in fact he was born a year earlier. He thought he could get away with the fib because his birth records were destroyed in the San Francisco fire. Why would he subtract a year from his age? According to Hall, Frost believed for many years that his mother had been pregnant with him when she married his father. He lied in order to protect her virtue. Even after he learned that his parents married earlier than he thought, he maintained the lie but enjoyed hinting at it in his poems. Ultimately, his biographer discovered the truth from newly unearthed documents and Frost was forced to come clean.
     
  • The quintessential American poet found his first success in England. After twenty years of failure among American publishers, he finally brought out his first collection, A Boy's Will, in London in 1913, which earned the attention of Ezra Pound, who subsequently became an important champion of Frost's work. Henry Holt released the book in America in 1915 to high acclaim.
     
  • Though he loved his wife Elinor dearly, they were distant as a couple and Frost could never quite overcome the guilt he felt at saddling her with so many children and immersing himself in his poetry. Only six months after she died in 1938, he began an affair with Kathleen Morrison, a married woman who lived near him and acted as his secretary until his death in 1963.

This article was originally published in April 2008, and has been updated for the April 2009 paperback release. Click here to go to this issue.

This article is available to non-members for a limited time. You can also read these articles for free. For full access become a member today.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Last Ballad
    The Last Ballad
    by Wiley Cash
    Ella May WigginsA hundred years ago or so, farming land west of Charlotte, North Carolina was given over to giant ...
  • Book Jacket: Future Home of the Living God
    Future Home of the Living God
    by Louise Erdrich
    Louise Erdrich began Future Home of the Living God in 2002, set it aside, and picked it up again in ...
  • Book Jacket: The Last Mrs. Parrish
    The Last Mrs. Parrish
    by Liv Constantine
    Amber has lived in poverty all her life, and she has had enough. Of course, wishing to have money ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Second Mrs. Hockaday by Susan Rivers

At once a love story, a history lesson and a beautifully written tale of forgiveness.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Story of Arthur Truluv
    by Elizabeth Berg

    An emotionally powerful novel from New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Berg.
    Reader Reviews

Who Said...

Music is the pleasure the human mind experiences from counting without being aware that it is counting

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Word Play

Solve this clue:

E Dog H I D

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.