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.


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...


Thanks for the nice words!


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.


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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