Cover image for Into my own : the English years of Robert Frost, 1912-1915
Into my own : the English years of Robert Frost, 1912-1915
Walsh, John Evangelist, 1927-2015.
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Grove Press, 1988.
Physical Description:
286 pages ; 24 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PS3511.R94 Z985 1988 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order


Author Notes

John Evangelist Walsh was born in Manhattan, New York on December 27, 1927. He enlisted in the Army and served in the infantry in Italy in the mid-1940s and as a reporter and photographer for military newspapers. When he returned home, he enrolled in Iona College, but before graduating he was hired as a reporter for The Oneonta Daily Star in upstate New York. It was the start of a career that took him to Prentice-Hall, Simon and Schuster, and Reader's Digest, where he headed condensed-book projects.

He wrote several books during his lifetime including Into My Own: The English Years of Robert Frost, This Brief Tragedy: The Unraveling of the Todd-Dickinson Affair, and Unraveling Piltdown: The Science Fraud of the Century and Its Solution. He was also the project editor on the condensation of the Reader's Digest Bible from 850,000 words to 510,000 words. He died on March 19, 2015 at the age of 87.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

This is a daring biography, for it covers only two years in one of the longest poetic careers of our century. But what years! Nearly middle-aged, virtually unpublished, Robert Frost made an apparently foolhardy attempt to launch his career as a great American poet by moving to England. The risk paid off. Two years later, Frost had two books in print; he knew Pound, HD, Yeats, and other literary notables; he had been reviewed on both sides of the Atlantic. He returned in triumph to New England. Walsh's risk has also paid off: this is simply the best- written literary biography in years. The mass of detail-- seamlessly incorporated into the text-- never overwhelms the story of how Frost forged his first successes. Nor does the attention paid to literary politics overwhelm the fact that, while conniving to break into print, Frost was also creating tradition-shattering poems. Highly recommended. Bibliography; to be indexed. MPM.

Publisher's Weekly Review

Robert Frost wrote much of the poetry on which his reputation rests in the space of two years (Oct. 1912-Dec. 1914) while living in England. How a pistol-packing New England poultry farmer in his late 30s, a poet of relentless, superficial brooding, transformed himself into a virtuoso of dramatic narratives and mature nature lyrics is the mystery explored in this gracefully written study. Walsh ( The Hidden Life of Emily Dickinson ) argues on the basis of tantalizing if inconclusive evidence that most of the longer poems Frost wrote in England were continuations of early drafts brought over from America. While his wife Elinor suffered debilitating nervous breakdowns, Frost pursued his dream of total freedom and creative isolation. Walsh illumines the struggling poet's strange friendships with haughty, posturing Ezra Pound and sentimental versifier Wilfrid Gibson, as well as his tutelage of English poet Edward Thomas, who blossomed under Frost's influence. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Choice Review

Although Frost's years in England (1912-15) witnessed the publication of some of his best-known poems in A Boy's Will and North of Boston, they have received scant in-depth attention. Walsh's book rectifies this situation with an insightful and meticulously documented account. Nothing comparable exists. Walsh shows Frost as baffled and resentful that initially his work was judged as the product of an unsophisticated rural poet. Walsh traces in detail how Frost came to know and befriend numerous British colleagues, many much better known than he at the time. Frost's resolute struggle to establish a poetic career is also dramatically spelled out. Lawrance Thompson's 76-page treatment in Robert Frost: The Early Years (CH, Nov '67) is, of course, sketchy in comparison in addition to being much less sympathetic in its view of Frost. Among more recent studies William H. Pritchard's Frost: A Literary Life Reconsidered (CH, Feb '85) provides a summary chapter and commentary on Frost's poetry in the "English years." Highly recommended for upper-division undergraduates and graduate students. -J. J. Patton, Atlantic Community College