Two Books from Frye’s Childhood Home

I recently acquired two books from Earl Johnson, a man now living in Nova Scotia who as a boy lived next door to the Fryes in Moncton, New Brunswick, from 1937-1943.   Earl is the source of some previously acquired items, including a typewriter Frye probably used during his high school years, now on display at the Moncton Library.  (Post here.)

The signature inside the first book, Lorna Doone, looks to be Frye’s when I compare it to the signature inside my autographed copy of The Great Code.  The “y” is the same, and the upward slope to the right is also the same.  Below the signature is written “Grade XIA,” suggesting that this must be Frye’s signature while still in high school.

The second book is Melbourne House by Elizabeth Wetherell (pen name for Susan Warner), and inside is a dedication to Frye’s older sister from their father, Herman: “To Vera Frye, from Papa.  Christmas 1910.”

There are enlarged photos of both books after the jump.

Inside leaf of Lorna Doone with what may be the 15 year old Frye’s signature. It appears that previous owners of what seems to be a high school text are “‘Coon’ XIB” and “‘Frankie’ XIB”.

Cover page of the same book

Inside leaf of Melbourne House with an inscription to Frye’s sister Vera

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3 thoughts on “Two Books from Frye’s Childhood Home

  1. Ed Lemond

    Thank you Bob. For a while I saw ‘Art’ or Arf’ instead of ‘AH’ but that didn’t make sense. That’s his ‘H’.

  2. Jonathan Allan

    I purchased a copy of Mario J. Valdés’ _Shadows in the Cave_ online from a used bookstore. It came and had a small marking on the first page that in my mind read “To Marie with warmest regards” but as I realized a year later, the marking was written by Valdés and reads: “To Norrie with warmest regards.” At any rate, the book itself contains only one small pencil marking, on p. 107, which addresses Frye, it reads: “My main point was made by Northrop Frye in his ‘Polemical Intoduction’ to the Anatomy of Criticism” and Frye, presumably, has simply noted the typo.


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