Do you know what's on the inside flap of the dust wrapper of the first, Heinemann edition (pictured left)?
"Esther Greenwood's story began before her visit to New York, but it was during those strangely unreal weeks - when with eleven other winners of a fashion magazine contest, she was offered the riches of the city as a gift - that her growing feeling of unease an inadequacy began to oppose her. Life for Esther had been a history of success: at school, at college, even with Buddy Willard, that superb, all-American symbol of success; but the value of these achievements seemed now to retreat from her, leaving her to focus on those vast territories where she would never tread with confidence of anything but failure. Back from New York, cramped by her mother's sympathetic watchfulness, Esther felt herself withdrawing into a private world, and in chapters of wonderful lucidity and vividness the author describes that borderland between sanity and insanity, whose only promise of escape is violence and death.
"This is a remarkable first novel by a young American woman - remarkable both for being a novel which uses detail and imagery to evoke a concrete, recognisable world and never to obscure it, and because it treats the subject of break-down with unusual directness and understanding."
|The front and rear flaps of The Bell Jar (Heinemann, 1963)|
Swell! This is a summary of the novel before the legend of Plath was widespread; before the nearly one to one association of Plath's biography to the novel. I have often wondered if Plath wrote this, or someone at Heinemann?
Just to round out the dust wrapper, designed by Thomas Simmonds, the back of the dust wrapper lists recent Heinemann fiction publications.
|The front and rear covers of The Bell Jar (Heinemann, 1963)|
These titles, in order of appearance, are:
Michael Noonan - The December Boys
Paul Smith - The Stubborn Season
Alison Lurie - Love and Friendship
Anthony Burgess - The Wanting Seed
Edward Upward - In the Thirties
Barbara Comyns - The Skin Chairs
Alfred Grossman - Many Slippery Errors
Jerome Weidman - My Father Sits in the Dark
Eric Ambler - The Light of Day
S. J. Perelman - The Rising Gorge
Paul Gallico - Coronation
Anthony Powell - A Dance to the Music of Time
Though I have never checked with any systematic focus or determination, I have often wondered if The Bell Jar by "Victoria Lucas" is listed on the back(s) of any Heinemann publications.