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Showing posts from October, 2015

Parliament Hill Fields: In the Footsteps of Sylvia Plath

The following is a guest blog post by Sheila Hamilton. Thank you, Sheila! Sylvia Plath wrote the poem "Parliament Hill Fields" in February 1961, in London, very shortly after suffering the miscarriage which is the poem's subject. In the poem, the narrator walks in a wintry landscape and ponders the loss ("Already your doll grip lets go.") Towards the end of the poem, there is a sense of renewed life. At this time, Plath, Ted Hughes and their baby daughter Frieda were living in a small flat on Chalcot Square, maybe a mile away from Hampstead Heath of which Parliament Hill Fields are a part. Like many London dwellers, they would have enjoyed access to the Heath, sometimes referred to as "London's green lungs", a spacious place of grass and trees, birds and ponds, secluded glades overgrown with ivy, bramble and nettle, quiet meadows and, here and there, wonderful views of the city. Once marshy and very much outside London, part farmland, part privat

Two Sylvia Plath Lots at Bonhams in November

Bonhams will offer two small Sylvia Plath lots in their 11 November 2015 sale at Knightsbridge in London . "The Mummy's Tomb", from Bonhams Lot 120 features an "Autograph manuscript of her early story 'The Mummy's Tomb', headed by her: ' The Mummy's Tomb / by Sylvia Plath/ May 17, 1946". The estimate is £1,500 - 2,000 (US$ 2,300 - 3,100). The lot details read: "Autograph manuscript of her early story 'The Mummy's Tomb', headed by her: "The Mummy's Tomb/ by Sylvia Plath/ May 17, 1946", opening: "I had come to the museum to do some research work on Egypt for my history notebook...", recounting the gothic tale of a girl's nocturnal visit to a display of mummies and her encounter with their sinister keeper ("...'Ha!' he leered, 'you got away yesterday, but you won't now. I'll muffle your screams of anguish and let you die from loss of blood and in terrible pain. Yo

Linda Freedman on Sylvia Plath and The New Yorker

The essay on Sylvia Plath by Linda Freedman that appears in Fiona Green’s edited collection Writing for The New Yorker: Critical Essays on an American Periodical (Edinburgh University Press, 2015), is entitled: "Sylvia Plath and 'The Blessed Glossy New Yorker '". On the surface, this is a brilliant title for an essay that considers a subject that should prove fascinating. Plath coveted just about everything about The New Yorker : the typeface, the cartoons, the quality of the writers it published,the content; even the sheen of the paper. However, Freedman's treatment of Plath and The New Yorker is wanting; the essay suffers from distinctive gaps and oversights which suggest a lack of familiarity with the subject. The initial disillusionment comes in Freedman’s second paragraph when she states: "even though her [Plath's] work appears more frequently in other periodicals such as the Ladies' Home Journal , Mademoiselle , and Seventeen " (118).