The collection consists of one folder and contains Capek's correspondence with Ted Hughes, James Merrill and others about her research on Plath. Also included is an audiotape of an interview with Plath and her reading of a selection of her poems, mostly from Ariel, probably recorded on October 30, 1962; the original is held by the British Council.The letters date from 1968, when Capek (then Mary Ellen Stagg) was working on her thesis. Most of the correspondence surrounds her attempts to find out if there were access to unpublished poems and manscripts. With the release in 1971 of The Bell Jar, Crossing the Water and Winter Trees (in 1972), the correspondence increased as Capek (as Capek) attempted to find out how the 1965/1966 Ariel differed from Plath's original intentions (based on Hughes' "Note" in Winter Trees that "[t]he poems in this volume are all out of the batch from which the Ariel poems were more or less arbitrarily chosen...".* Capek's enquiries were not answered, likely, to her dissatisfaction.
In addition to Ted Hughes and James Merrill, Capek corresponded with Olwyn Hughes and A. Alvarez. There are no Plath original documents in this collection.
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*Hughes' comment is different in the Faber and Harper editions of Winter Trees. In the Faber edition, he says the poems were all written in the last nine months of Plath's life. In the Harper edition, the poems were written in the last year of Plath's life.