12 January 2015

Books by Sylvia Plath to be Auctioned

Bloomsbury Auctions is holding a Bibliophile Sale on Thursday 15 January 2015, 11:00am, at Baverstock House, Godalming, Surrey, England.

As you might have guessed, there are a couple of Sylvia Plath lots in the auction!

Lot no. 422 - Contains 8 books by Sylvia Plath/"Victoria Lucas"
[Plath (Sylvia)], "Victoria Lucas". - The Bell Jar
Estimate £150–200

1. The Bell Jar, Contemporary Fiction edition, light creasing to head, light rubbing and surface soiling, 1964;
2. The Bell Jar, first Faber edition, staining to front free endpaper, jacket rear panel stained, very light browning to head of spine, creasing to head, 1966, original cloth, dust-jackets, excellent copies;
and 6 others by the same, 8vo (8)

Updated: 13 January 2015
The six other titles in lot 422 are:
3. The Bell Jar, Harper & Row (hardback with dust wrapper)
4. Crossing the Water, Faber & Faber (hardback with dust wrapper)
5. Winter Trees, Faber & Faber, (hardback with dust wrapper)
6. The Bed Book, Faber & Faber (hardback with dust wrapper)
7. Johnny Panic and the Bible of Dreams, Faber & Faber, (hardback with dust wrapper)
8. Collected Poems, Faber & Faber, (hardback with dust wrapper)

These all appear, from an image seen, to be first editions but I am unsure if in fact they are.

Lot no. 423 - Contains 7 books by Sylvia Plath
Plath (Sylvia) - Ariel
Estimate £150–200

1. Ariel, First edition, ink ownership inscription, jacket spine slightly browned, spine ends and corners a little chipped with minor repairs to verso, 1965;
2. The Colossus, jacket with closed tears to head of upper panel, New York, 1962, original cloth, dust-jackets;
and 5 others by the same, 8vo (7)

Updated: 13 January 2015
The five other titles in lot 423 are:
3. The Bell Jar, Harper & Row (hardback with dust wrapper)
4. Crossing the Water, Faber & Faber (hardback with dust wrapper)
5. Winter Trees, Faber & Faber, (hardback with dust wrapper)
6. The Bed Book, Faber & Faber (hardback with dust wrapper)
7. Collected Poems, Faber & Faber, (hardback with dust wrapper)

As with the above, these all appear, from an image seen, to be first editions but I am unsure if in fact they are. 


All links accessed 6 January 2015.

3 comments :

Anonymous said...

All mine!! ;-) ..that'd be nice......

xxx Alina(daydreaming) p.s. Miss not being on twitter anymore to have the opportunity to interact with you+your tweets.But hate stalkers so i was forced to give it up but i found it very useful.

Giles said...

Why does the top of one copy of the US "Bell Jar" come up to the 'P' of Plath in the title on the spine on "Winter Trees", while the copy in the other lot comes to a significantly more substantial height against the same measure?

Peter K Steinberg said...

Hello Giles! Quite an astute observation!! I hadn't noticed it myself and had to look at both images side-by-side to see it.

The book club edition of the US edition of The Bell Jar is a taller volume than the first US edition issued by Harper & Row. Also, the book club edition is for all intents and purposes equal to the height of a first edition Winter Trees.

In looking at copies of both books that I have (a first, a first edition seventh printing, and a book club edition) none appear as 'squat' as the one copy of The Bell Jar in Lot 422. Because (lamentably) not all of the books were clearly and carefully catalogued by Bloomsbury, I apologize for writing in my 13 January update that they appeared to be all first editions. It's clear they this probably isn't the case. As you may know there are differences in a first edition, a subsequent printing, and the book club edition. All use roughly the same jacket design, but the true first's boards are (as defined by Stephen Tabor) "in a bicolour clothe pattern of greyish purplish red (262) and white; dark reddish brown (44) or lighter cloth spine" (Annotated Bibliography, 17). The seventh printing I have has purple cloth over boards; and the book club edition has "deep red (13) cloth" over boards (Tabor, 18). In measuring the boards (not the text block), the first edition, first printing is 21.3 cm tall; the seventh printing is 21.2 cm; and the book club at 21.7 cm. But I'm also not a professional, so my measurements might be off! My Winter Trees is about 22.2 cm tall.

I wish I could say why this book is so much smaller (now I seriously want a copy!!!), but I do think the one in Lot 422 is a different edition/printing. I've seen a Taiwanese pirated edition, but this is just as tall as the first edition but far slimmer (because cheaper, thinner paper was used for the printing).

~pks

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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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