ROBERT FROST: The Later Years 1938-1963 by Lawrance & R. H. Winnick Thompson
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ROBERT FROST: The Later Years 1938-1963

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The third and final volume of Lawrance Thompson's estimable biography begins with an account of Frost's deep depression in the month's following Iris wife's silent, reproachful death in the spring of 1938. Luckily, Frost was rescued by Kay Morrison, an old friend who became his secretary and devoted companion for the rest of his life. Together they designed the outsized calendar of traveling lectures and honorary teaching jobs that Frost would follow, amazingly, until his death at 88, and together they faced the family misfortunes--Carol Frost's suicide in 1940, Irma Frost Cone's mental breakdown a few years later--that continued as a relentless sub-theme of Frost's whole life. This last volume is full of Frost in his various public poses as subversive crank and pious old imp; he spent his last twenty-five years pursuing eagerly, obdurately, and often slyly, the prizes and acclaim he missed so sorely in his first forty. He got them, too, including four Pulitzer Prizes, a cherished chance to lecture Nikita Khrushchev on ""magnanimous rivalry"" between great nations, and a score of honorary degrees and public citations. But the best moments are those when Frost displays the linguistic wit and ironic sagacity he was loved for among students and the young friends he continually made. The reminiscences of those friends and Thompson's own memories--along with the texts of letters, notes, and public speeches--comprise the source material for The Later Years; but since Thompson died before the book was completed, the result, even-handed and competent though it is, is less fluid and often less coherent than The Years of Triumph.

Pub Date: Jan. 12th, 1976
Publisher: Holt, Rinehart & Winston