16 March 2016

Sylvia Plath Bonhams Auction: The Results

Bonhams Knightsbridge held a Fine Books, Atlases and Manuscripts auction today 16 March 2016.

There were six lots of Sylvia Plath items, Lots 140-145. All lots sold and the typed letter in a birthday card was the big seller. Congrats to the owner(s) of this material!

Here follows the results:

Lot 140
Sylvia Plath
Autograph drafts, notes, drawings and doodles for her story "Stardust", comprising a page of fairy sketches (with three red lipstick kisses applied by the author), [1946-47]
Sold for £5,000 / US$7,088

Lot 141
Sylvia Plath
Birthday card to her mother with autograph message signed ("much love to my favourite mummy! your Sivvy"), with a long typed letter within, Friday, 24 April [1953]
Sold for £6,000 / US$8,605

Lot 142
Sylvia Plath
Collection of typescripts of nine early poems, including "Ice Age", "In Memoriam", "Incident", "Crossing the Equinox" and others
The other poems are: "I Have Found the Perfect World", "Have You Forgotten?", "Humoresque", "Gone is the River", and "Gold Mouths Cry" ["The Bronze Boy"]
Sold for £3,500 / US$4,962

Lot 143
Sylvia Plath
Group of six typescript poems, including "Female Author', most with autograph revisions or corrections, all but the first with her name ("Sylvia Plath") and address at Lawrence House, Smith College, typed at the head, Lawrence House, Smith College [1954-55]
The other poems are: "On Looking into the Eyes of a Demon Lover", "Morning in the Hospital Solarium", "Prologue to Spring", "Trio of Love Songs" ["Parallax"], and "The Trial of Man"
Sold for £3,750 / US$5,316

Lot 144
Sylvia Plath
Two typed and autograph drafts of her poem "Admonitions" (here entitled "'Never Try to Know More Than You Should'", above a quotation from Paradise Lost), [1954-5]
Sold for £4,750 / US$6,734

Lot 145
Sylvia Plath
Two photographs given by Sylvia Plath to her mother Aurelia, the first showing her and her husband Ted Hughes, the second showing her in a garden wearing a sundress [The second photograph dates to July-August 1949 and was taken in the yard at 26 Elmwood Road, Wellesley.]
Sold for £2,375 / US$3,367

Unrelated to the above, an addition Sylvia Plath related item was included in the auction:
Lot 146
Sylvia Plath
The Bell Jar, First Edition, Heinemann, 1963
Sold for £3,750 / US$5,316



All links accessed 16 March 2016.

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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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