Did You Know?Published by Webmaster on 09/01/2003 (52362 reads)
Charles Lindberg carried a copy of RWS's poems on his record breaking flight across the Atlantic. Reeve Lindberg (daughter) is herself a fan of Robert Service's poetry, and was a judge in the NorthEast Kingdom RWS Poetry contest of the late 90s.
RWS's WWI poetry was used in the trauma clinics of the returned home Vietnam Veterans.
The Federal Fruit Researchers in Ottawa appear to have named a new -- but ultimately unsuccessful -- apple variety after Service in about 1908.
Robert Service spoke English, French, Italian and, of course, Scottish Gaelic. He wrote a few poems in French. He took many lessons in Italian to improve his fluency. Playing guitar he liked to sing old popular Italian melodies.
James Mackay in his biography Vagabond of Verse, reports that in August of 1940 Robert took his first ride in an airplane from Vancouver to Whitehorse in the Yukon. Stayed a few days and returned to Vancouver. Perhaps not, In McKay's book it refers to Sheldon Luck flying Service Back to the Yukon. Larry Bagnell found Sheldon Luck who still lives in B.C., and he confirms that Service never showed up for the Flight.
An Oregon book dealer ran across a copy of Service's "Rhymes of a Red Cross Man" showing a 1909 publication date by Barse and Company. The first edition is considered to be 1916 by Barse and Hopkins.
An explanation by Peter Mitham: Welcome to the weird and wacky world of Barse -- and Hopkins! But seriously, some strange impressions of Service appeared from the house. It is thought this was partly because the editions were produced for the mass market. Hopkins left the firm c.1928, and editions thereafter bore only the Barse name.
The guess is that in reprinting RRCM, the copyright date for the first of Service's works printed by the firm was taken as the copyright date for later works. Similarly, copies of *The Spell of the Yukon* printed after 1928 appear with a 1916 copyright date.
Adding to the confusion in dating the several imprints have been variations in construction and binding, in which pages are sometimes transposed. A significant number of Barse and Hopkins titles are also misbound; at least, there are more examples from this press than from others (at least with Service's books). Barse's daughter can't shed any light on the matter. For more information on Barse and Hopkins, check the Dictionary of Literary Biography, vol. 46.
The following is a list of seven poems that were added to the 6th and later editions of "Songs of a Sourdough" and all editions of "The Spell of the Yukon":
1. The Land God Forgot - the untitled poem that prefaces the collection
2. The Heart of the Sourdough
3. The Three Voices
4. The Pines
5. The Harpy
6. The Lure of Little Voices
Also, the page that contains the dedication "To CM" first appeared in the 4th edition of Songs of a Sourdough.
All of the above info was first brought to my attention by Peter Mitham's article published in the 1996 Spring "Papers of the Bibliography Society of Canada." Contributed by Charlie Nightengale.
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