17 November 2012

Sylvia Plath Books at the Boston Book Fair

This years Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair did not dissapoint when it came to getting to see and touch rare and valuable Sylvia Plath books. There is the perennial first edition of The Colossus signed by Plath to fellow poet Theodore Roethke that I am glad seems impervious to selling from the fine bookseller James S. Jaffe Rare Books. At $50,000 it is the Mercedes Benz of books. Only, people buy cars. If only they realized that a book will not depreciate so swiftly... If anyone out there feels so inclined, I am more than open to receiving this book as a gift. Thank you. Jaffe also brought a stunning first Faber edition of Ariel ($4,000) as well as a signed, limited edition of Birthday Letters by Ted Hughes ($850).

On a side note: please for the love of sanity, alphabetize your displayed books. This persnickety peruser refuses to detail your Plath books if you do not alphabetize. Thank you.

Paul Foster brought their copies of Plath limited editions: The Green Rock and A Day in June. These are always nice to see.

Peter L. Stern had on display the delicious $12,500 copy of the first Heinemann Victoria Lucas The Bell Jar complete with a custom made box to protect it. Like Jaffe's Colossus I would gratefully receive this into my heart if a reader of this blog feels kindly towards me.

Between the Covers, one of my favorites, had the long galley proofs of Crossing the Water on display for $2,000. BTC also had on display the first Harper & Row Ariel, and first Faber editions of Crossing the Water and Winter Trees. All in drool worthy condition.

The last highlight for me was meeting Lisa Baskin of Cumberland Books. Lisa is the widow of Leonard Baskin. Pretty cool. I expect there were more Plath books there that I did not see, but my primary purpose today was work-related, and so did not get as much of a chance as I normall do to walk around and browse.

2 comments :

Rehan said...

There is no date given for the signed copy of Birthday Letters, must have been just before Hughes died.

Maddy said...

Peter,
I found what I am 99% sure is a first edition of Winter Trees that I found at my favorite used bookstore in CT. It is Faber & Faber, says 1971...but how can I be certain? It is in beautiful condition!

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