Skip to main content


Showing posts from August, 2014

The Search for Sylvia Plath Continues...

In the past, this blog has featured posts on Sylvia Plath's first suicide attempt : her disappearance, the search and recovery, and the articles that appeared in the newspapers about the event. It was also the subject of a long paper titled "'They Had to Call and Call': The Search for Sylvia Plath" published in 2010, the focus of which was a bibliography of articles found. However, like most bibliographies it was out of date almost immediately. Sadly, too, for obvious reasons it (the bibliography) will never be either 100% accurate or 100% complete.  Such is the nature of that discipline. Well, this post continues those as recently I found another source presenting digital access to historic newspapers. The Fulton History of Fulton County (New York) offers searching of more than 26 million historic newspaper pages. And, yes, I searched again for Sylvia Plath. The articles that were new to me were: "Missing Wellesley Student is Found, Put in Hospital.&q

Sylvia Plath & The Mystery of the Ad in the Paper

In August 1961, Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes were preparing to move from their tiny 3 Chalcot Square flat in London to the spacious Court Green in North Tawton, Devonshire. When they took the flat in February 1960, they had signed a three-year lease which included the option to sublet should the need arise. The flat was so small that for much of the time one or the other would go elsewhere to write. Ted Hughes first used the flat of W.S. and Dido Merwin nearby at 11 St. George's Terrace; Plath used this space too when she was not writing in their living room. In addition, Hughes also used the small attic flat above theirs rented by "Mrs. Morton" (Mary K. Morton), a character in her own right who became the subject of Plath's September 1960 poem "Leaving Early". On 13 August 1961, Plath wrote to her mother: "We put an ad in the paper for our flat (with a $280 fee for 'fixtures and fittings' to cover the cost of our decorating, lino, shelves, and