21 November 2009

A Queen is Crowned: August 24, 1953

In October, my review of Alix Strauss' Death Becomes Them, led to some temporary uncertainly over Aurelia Plath's whereabouts on 24 August 1953 - the afternoon of Sylvia Plath's first suicide attempt. Was she at the theater? Was she at a friends? In Wellesley? Or in some other town? Thanks to BrigetAnna, ~VC, and Jim Long for pointing out that this is something Strauss got right (see the comments section). I recently had occasion to review the Boston Daily Globe for August 24, 1953. I learned that the film Aurelia Plath saw was called A Queen is Crowned. (Amazon.co.uk)

A Queen is Crowned was playing at the Exeter Street Theater, at 26 Exeter Street, at the corner of Exeter and Newbury Streets in Boston's Back Bay neighborhood. That day, Aurelia Plath likely saw the 2:10 p.m. showing. (Sylvia Plath was born at ... wait for it ... 2:10 p.m. She was 20 years old (or, 2 x 10). Plath signed the contract for The Colossus in London on 2/10 (1960). And, 2/10 (1963) was the last full day of her life. Ok, enough?). A Queen is Crowned was narrated by Sir Laurence Olivier and presented by ... wait for it ... J Arthur Rank. It was the same J Arthur Rank that would employ Ted Hughes as a script reader within a few years.

The exterior of the building is still standing (see image below) but it is no longer a cinema. The theater is approximately 13.1 miles from 26 Elmwood Road by way of Route 9/Boylston Street.


5 comments :

George Fitzgerald said...

Once again you are a pro at digging up the facts! I love the collection of 2-10 data. Thanks!

Peter K Steinberg said...

George,

Thanks for the nice words!

Cheers
peter

Lady Grinch said...

omg! this is the first time i am visiting this blog and i am feeling bad- i should have much much earlier.

anyways, i cant wait to own an "ARIEL" mug!

Peter K Steinberg said...

Lady Grinch,

I'm just glad you found it and hope you enjoy reading through the archives.

Cheers
Peter

Madelene said...

I adore this blog. My birthday is 2/10. Although I was born in 1990. And, of course, I am very fascinated by Sylvia. I am happy to see a blog that seems to care about S.P. beyond the stereotypes so often ascribed to her life and work.

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Publications & Acknowledgements

  • BBC Four.A Poet's Guide to Britain: Sylvia Plath. London: BBC Four, 2009. (Acknowledged in)
  • Biography: Sylvia Plath. New York: A & E Television Networks, 2005. (Photographs used)
  • Connell, Elaine. Sylvia Plath: Killing the angel in the house. 2d ed. Hebden Bridge: Pennine Pens, 1998. (Acknowledged in)
  • Crowther, Gail and Peter K. Steinberg. "These Ghostly Archives." Plath Profiles 2. Summer 2009: 183-208.
  • Crowther, Gail and Peter K. Steinberg. "These Ghostly Archives, Redux." Plath Profiles 3. Summer 2010: 232-246.
  • Crowther, Gail and Peter K. Steinberg. "These Ghostly Archives 3." Plath Profiles 4. Summer 2011: 119-138.
  • Crowther, Gail and Peter K. Steinberg. "These Ghostly Archives 4: Looking for New England." Plath Profiles 5. Summer 2012: 11-56.
  • Crowther, Gail and Peter K. Steinberg. "These Ghostly Archives 5: Reanimating the Past." Plath Profiles 6. Summer 2013: 27-62.
  • Crowther, Gail and Peter K. Steinberg. These Ghostly Archives: The Unearthing of Sylvia Plath. Oxford: Fonthill, 2017. Forthcoming.
  • Death Be Not Proud: The Graves of Poets. New York: Poets.org. (Photographs used)
  • Doel, Irralie, Lena Friesen and Peter K. Steinberg. "An Unacknowledged Publication by Sylvia Plath." Notes & Queries 56:3. September 2009: 428-430.
  • Gill, Jo. "Sylvia Plath in the South West." University of Exeter Centre for South West Writing, 2008. (Photograph used)
  • Elements of Literature, Third Course. Austin, Tex. : Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 2009. (Photograph used)
  • Helle, Anita Plath. The Unraveling Archive: Essays on Sylvia Plath. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2007. (Photographs used, acknowledged in)
  • Helle, Anita. "Lessons from the Archive: Sylvia Plath and the Politics of Memory". Feminist Studies 31:3. Fall 2005: 631-652.. (Acknowledged in)
  • Holden, Constance. "Sad Poets' Society." Science Magazine. 27 July 2008. (Photograph used)
  • Making Trouble: Three Generations of Funny Jewish Women, Motion Picture. Directed by Rachel Talbot. Brookline (Mass.): Jewish Women's Archive, 2007. (Photograph used)
  • Plath, Sylvia, and Karen V. Kukil. The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath, 1950-1962. New York: Anchor Books, 2000. (Acknowledged in)
  • Plath, Sylvia, and Peter K. Steinberg and Karen V. Kukil (eds.). The Letters of Sylvia Plath. London: Faber, 2017. Forthcoming.
  • Plath, Sylvia. Glassklokken. Oslo: De norske Bokklubbene, 2004. (Photograph used on cover)
  • Reiff, Raychel Haugrud. Sylvia Plath: The Bell Jar and Poems (Writers and Their Works). Marshall Cavendish Children's Books, 2008.. (Images provided)
  • Steinberg, Peter K. Sylvia Plath (Great Writers). Philadelphia: Chelsea House Publishers, 2004.
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "'I Should Be Loving This': Sylvia Plath's 'The Perfect Place' and The Bell Jar." Plath Profiles 1. Summer 2008: 253-262.
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "Sylvia Plath." The Spoken Word: Sylvia Plath. London: British Library, 2010.
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "'They Had to Call and Call': The Search for Sylvia Plath." Plath Profiles 3. Summer 2010: 106-132.
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "This is a Celebration: A Festschrift for The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath." Plath Profiles 3 Supplement. Fall 2010: 3-14.
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "A Perfectly Beautiful Time: Sylvia Plath at Camp Helen Storrow." Plath Profiles 4. Summer 2011: 149-166.
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "Proof of Plath." Fine Books & Collections 9:2. Spring 2011: 11-12.
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "Textual Variations in The Bell Jar Publications." Plath Profiles 5. Summer 2012.
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "Writing Life" [Introduction]. Sylvia Plath in Devon: A Year's Turning. Stroud, Eng.: Fonthill Media, 2014.

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