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A Key to Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar and more

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Sylvia Plath and the Glow-Worm Song

Sylvia Plath's mother loved to tell the story about how her daughter co-opted some of her own experiences in the lines in the fourth stanza of the poem "The Disquieting Muses" which read, In December last year, a random thought popped in my own dismal head and that song mentioned, "the glowworm song". The reason this song and this stanza came to the forefront of my mind was the lovable scene in Love, Actually , where the children are on stage for their Christmas nativity play--the one with multiple lobsters that were present at the birth of J. C. They are singing and in costumes and what not..., so it is natural that I thought of Plath. Anyway, Wikipedia to the rescue with this article on The Glow-Worm  (aka "Das Glühwürmchen").  "The Glow-Worm Song" appears in the Paul Lincke operetta Lysistrata (1902).The article includes some translated-into-English lyrics and some historical information such as the fact the lyricist Johnny Mercer later r

Sylvia Plath in Paris

Sylvia Plath was in Paris five times in one calendar year. More specifically, she visited Paris five times from December 1955 to August 1956, that's within nine months. Her first stay was from 20 December to 31 December 1955.  She touched her feet in Paris again upon her return from Nice and the south of France on 8-9 January 1956.  Plath was in Paris for another long stretch from 24 March to 6 April 1956, leaving on the 6th to go from Paris through Strasbourg and then into Kehl, Germany, and onward to Munich, with Gordon Lameyer.  Then she spent the first portion of her honeymoon in Paris with her husband (and mother) from 22 June to 5 July. On her way back from Spain to England, she and Hughes stopped once more in Paris on 23 August until the 28th, this time without Plath's mother, though they were joined by Warren Plath.  Recently I was in Europe and had the opportunity to layover briefly in Paris, so I maximized the opportunity to do something I had never done before which

Sale results: Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes: The Property of Frieda Hughes

Today, 14 November 2023, was the Bonhams Fine Books and Manuscripts auction of twenty-five lots of Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes books from the property, or now former property of Frieda Hughes. In the last few years, the Plath and Hughes rare book market has been simply flooded with stock but this has not, at least in the case of Plath who is more collectible than Hughes, meant that prices in the rare and antiquarian book market has stalled or leveled off.  As I have done in the past, here are a list of the sales. All prices below show hammer price first and then the final price including the buyer's premium. Please see the Bonhams website for pre-auction valuation estimates. In addition to the property of Frieda Hughes, there was a scarce uncorrected proof of the Victoria Lucas edition of The Bell Jar  in: Lot 72 :  This gorgeous book is estimated to sell for £4,000 - £5,000 (US$4,900 - US$6,200) and ultimately went for £6,144. Estimated: Untracked Hammer Price: Untracked Price wi

Frieda Hughes to Auction Sylvia Plath/Ted Hughes items with Bonhams

The following are the lots in the 14 November 2023 auction of The Property of Frieda Hughes of Sylvia Plath (lots 108-118) and Ted Hughes (lots 94-107) items. Ted Hughes: Lot 94 : HUGHES (TED) Meet My Folks!, FIRST EDITION, DEDICATION COPY, INSCRIBED, Faber and Faber, 1961 Lot 95 : HUGHES (TED) The New Poetry. A Selection Selected and Introduced by A. Alvarez, FIRST EDITION, PRESENTATION COPY INSCRIBED BY TED HUGHES TO HIS PARENTS, 1962; 3 carbons TH poems of 1960s, and annotated copy of Moorehead's Cooper's Creek (6) Lot 96 : HUGHES (TED) Wodwo, FIRST EDITION AUTHOR'S PRESENTATION COPY INSCRIBED "To Walter [Hughes] & Alice with love from Ted, May 67", Faber and Faber, 1967 Lot 97 : HUGHES (TED) Animal Poems, UNIQUE PRESENTATION COPY, ONE OF SIX COPIES INTERLEAVED WITH ALL 14 POEMS WRITTEN OUT BY THE AUTHOR, AND AN ADDITIONAL 18 POEMS ADDED IN MANUSCRIPT, [Richard Gilbertson, [1967] Lot 98 : HUGHES (TED) The Iron Man, FIRST EDITION, AUTHOR'S PRESENT

Frieda Hughes to Auction Sylvia Plath/Ted Hughes items with Bonhams

Bonhams Knightsbridge is set to auction more than two dozen lots of books from the library and collection of Frieda Hughes that she was either given or inherited from her parents, Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes.  The date of the auction is 14 November 2023.  Copies of works by Sylvia Plath include: A Winter Ship, The Colossus, The Bell Jar, Ariel, Three Women, Crystal Gazer and Other Poems, Pursuit, Letters Home , and much, much more. Copies of works by Ted Hughes include: The Iron Giant, Birthday Letters, Howls & Whispers, Poems by Emily Dickinson, Animal Poems, Moortown Elegies, Meet My Folks!, Crow, The Iron Man, Wodwo , and more.

Sylvia Plath in Haworth

Of the many reasons to accept the offer to teach Sylvia Plath at the Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes Summer School at Lumb Bank in Heptonstall, Yorkshire, one of the perks of the offer was the midweek day off from teaching in which the group journeyed to Haworth to visit the Brontë Parsonage and make the walk to Top Withens, the house that is rumored to have inspired Emily Brontë's beautiful, haunting, and perfect novel Wuthering Heights , have a pint at the Black Bull and walk around the village. The program of teaching with Heather Clark at Lumb Bank was a good one. I had the morning class from 9:30 to 11 am. Heather taught after a 30 minutes break from 11:30 to 1. Then lunch, followed by a varying schedule in the afternoon that saw some visitors (Steve Ely, Pascale Petit, and Carrie Smith) and some downtime. My class was upstairs in the barn and we focused on Plath's novel The Bell Jar . I overprepared, in that I did not get to cover everything that I planned. And this included