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Robert Frost Farm
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Center for New England Culture

Chronology of Robert Frost's Life


1874

Robert Lee Frost is born to Isabelle Moodie Frost and William Prescott Frost, Jr., on March 26 in San Francisco, California. The family lives in California until 1885.

1876

Sister Jeanie Frost is born.

1885

Frost's father, William Prescott Frost, Jr., dies. Isabelle Frost moves to Lawrence, Massachusetts with her two children, Robert and Jeanie.

1892

Frost graduates from Lawrence High School as co-valedictorian with Elinor White. He enters Dartmouth College but withdraws before the semester ends.

1893

He returns to Massachusetts where he teaches eighth-grade in Methuen.

1894

The Independent, a magazine in New York City, publishes “My Butterfly: An Elegy” in November.

1895

Frost takes a job as a newspaper reporter for a short period. His mother hires him to teach at the school she operates. He marries Elinor Miriam White.

1896

Elinor Frost gives birth to a son Elliott on September 25.

1897

Frost enters Harvard College as a special student, remaining for two years.

1899

A daughter, Lesley Frost is born on April 28.

1900

The family moves to a farm in Derry, New Hampshire following the death of Elliott. Frost's mother also dies this year. Frost writes “Home Burial,” “Stars,” “Despair,” and “My November Guest.”

1901

William Prescott Frost dies leaving his grandson Robert the Derry farm and a generous annuity. Frost writes “Storm Fear.”

1902

A son, Carol Frost is born on May 22.

1903

A second daughter, Irma Frost is born on June 27.

1905

A third daughter, Marjorie Frost is born on March 29. Frost writes “The Black Cottage,” “The Housekeeper,” and “The Death of the Hired Man.”

1906

Derry Enterprise publishes “The Tuft of Flowers.” Following a public reading of the poem, Frost accepts a teaching position at Pinkerton Academy, Derry. The Independent publishes “The Trial by Existence.”

1907

Infant daughter, Elinor Bettina, dies within days of her birth.

1909

New England Magazine publishes “Into My Own.” The family rents a house in Derry Village, closer to Pinkerton Academy.

1911

Frost leaves Pinkerton and begins teaching at New Hampshire State Normal School, Plymouth. He sells the Derry farm.

1912

The Frost family moves to Buckinghamshire, England. Robert continues to write poetry and farm.

1913

David Nutt and Company publishes Frost's first book of poems, A Boy's Will.

1914

The family moves to Glouchestershire. Frost's second book, North of Boston, is published by David Nutt.

1915

Frost relocates his family to Franconia, New Hampshire. American editions of his first two poetry books are published by Henry Holt and Company.

1916

Invited to Phi Beta Kappa Day at Harvard, Frost reads “The Bonfire.” Frost's Mountain Interval, his first volume of poetry after returning to the United States published by Henry Holt.

1917

Frost joins faculty of Amherst College as Professor of English and is awarded a Poetry prize for “The Snow.”

1918

He receives an honorary M.A. from Amherst College.

1920

Frost terminates his position at Amherst College and purchases a farm (The Stone House) near South Shaftsbury, Vermont.

1921

He becomes Poet in Residence at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and then Fellow in Creative Arts for the following year.

1923

Selected Poems and New Hampshire are published by Henry Holt and Company. Frost returns to Amherst College for two years.

1924

Frost receives Pulitzer Prize for New Hampshire.

1925

He returns to University of Michigan as Fellow in Letters.

1926

He accepts a position as Professor of English at Amherst College, where he remains until 1938.

1928

West-Running Brook is published by Henry Holt and Company.

1929

A Way Out, a play by Frost, is published by The Harbor Press. Frost's sister Jeanie dies.

1930

Collected Poems are published. Frost elected to membership in the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

1931

The Pulitzer Prize is awarded to Collected Poems and also receives the Russell Loines Poetry Prize.

1934

Marjorie Frost Fraser dies following childbirth, leaving an infant daughter.

1936

Frost becomes Charles Eliot Norton Professor of Poetry at Harvard. A Further Range is published.

1937

The Pulitzer Prize is awarded to A Further Range. Elinor Frost is diagnosed with cancer and undergoes surgery.

1938

Following numerous heart attacks, Elinor Frost dies in Florida. Frost leaves his position at Amherst College.

1939

An expanded edition of Collected Poems is published. Frost buys Homer Noble Farm in Ripton, Vermont. For the next three years Frost is the Ralph Waldo Emerson Fellow in Poetry at Harvard.

1940

Frost's son Carol commits suicide. On the twenty-fifth anniversary of Frost's first public reading, Frost is invited to read his poetry at Tufts College as the Phi Beta Kappa poet.

1941

Frost purchases a house in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

1942

A Witness Tree is published.

1943

Frost is awarded his fourth Pulitzer for A Witness Tree. He joins Dartmouth College as Ticknor Fellow in Humanities and remains until 1949.

1945

A Masque of Reason is published.

1947

Steeple Bush is published by Holt in May. A Masque of Mercy is published by Holt in September.

1949

Complete Poems is published.

1950

United States Senate adopts resolution honoring Frost on the occasion of his seventy-fifth (actually 76th) birthday.

1954

Frost becomes a delegate to World Congress of Writers in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

1957

He travels to England and is awarded an honorary Litt. D. by Oxford and Cambridge Universities and National University of Ireland.

1958

Frost becomes the Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress.

1959

Frost is honored by a Senate resolution on his eighty-fifth birthday. Friends and publishers celebrate the occasion with him in New York City.

1961

John F. Kennedy invites Frost to read at the inauguration. He recites “The Gift Outright” by heart.

1962

Frost travels to Moscow with Stewart I. Udall. He reads “Mending Wall” and speaks with Krushchev. In the Clearing, his final book, is published. He enters a Boston hospital in ill health. Doctors find cancer in his prostate and bladder. He suffers a pulmonary embolism on December 23.

1963

Robert Lee Frost dies on January 29 in Boston. Private memorial service for friends and family is held in Appleton Chapel in Harvard yard, and public service is held at Johnson Chapel, Amherst College. He is buried with Elinor and other family members in the Old Bennington Cemetery in Bennington, Vermont. Frost's gravestone of Barre granite with hand carved laurel leaves is inscribed, “I had a lover's quarrel with the world.”