17 May 2016

Sylvia Plath in Chequer

From time to time I have tweeted and/or written about auctions on eBay for Sylvia Plath items. I recently, selfishly found out about an auction for an item that I wanted with without promoting potential competition. This was greedy of me, especially considering the item would be, if I won it, a duplicate.

Sylvia Plath published four poems in Chequer 11: "Epitaph for Fire and Flower", "On the Difficulty of Conjuring Up a Dryad", "Miss Drake Proceeds to Supper", and "November Graveyard" (Winter 1956-1957). When I saw that a copy was up for auction I decided not to tweet it out. I guess I am a bit of a hoarder? I have no idea where this copy came from, other than "England" of course. The first copy I got, as a gift, formerly belonged to Christopher Levenson, who himself is well represented in this issue of Chequer as well as Plath. An image of the cover of Levenson's copy is on the Periodicals page of my website for Sylvia Plath. Plath spent an ample amount of time with Levenson in February 1956 prior to meeting Ted Hughes.

What I love about seeing the periodicals Plath published in, besides her work, are the other articles and advertisements she herself would have seen and read. In something like Chequer, there is an added kind of intimacy to the publication as we "know" that Plath visited some of the places advertised, such as in this wonky scan of a page from Chequer advertising the Taj Mahal restaurant.

Plath frequented the Taj a lot during her first months at Cambridge, particularly with J. Mallory Wober (a lot of the letters listed in this Wober link are revised based on the work and research I did for the forthcoming edition of the Letters of Sylvia Plath).

09 May 2016

Sylvia Plath auctions at Bonhams, Knightsbridge

Bonhams Knighstbridge has done it again! They are offering several lots of Sylvia Plath typescripts and books in their 15 June 2016 auction of Fine Books, Manuscripts, and Original Illustrations. This auction is in two Plath sections. The first five are from the larger Plath archive that's been up for sale, piecemeal, after the whole lot failed to sell via Sotheby's in December 2014. The second section are books formerly belonging to Winifred Davies, Plath's Devon midwife and friend.

Lot 167
Sylvia Plath, Typescript draft, with autograph revisions, of her story "The Green Rock", and typescript of "Gramercy Park", with occasional annotations, 1948-9
£800 - 1,200 / US$ 1,200 - 1,700

Lot 168
Sylvia Plath
Typescript draft with autograph revisions of her poem ʻSeek No More the Young', here with the deleted typed title "Latvian Threnody", [March 1949]
£800 - 1,200 / US$ 1,200 - 1,700

Lot 169
Sylvia Plath
Carbon typescript of her story "Mary Ventura and the Ninth Kingdom", with letter of rejection from Mademoiselle magazine, 11 March 1953
£1,000 - 1,500 / US$ 1,400 - 2,200

Lot 170
Sylvia Plath
Two draft typescripts, in successive versions, of her poem "Go Get the Goodly Squab", Smith College, April 1953; ʻSOLD TO HARPER'S – APRIL 1953' – SYLVIA PLATH RECEIVES HER ʻFIRST REAL PROFESSIONAL ACCEPTANCE' AS A POET.
£1,000 - 1,500 / US$ 1,400 - 2,200

Lot 171
Sylvia Plath
Typescripts and carbon typescripts of six poems, comprising: "Spring Sacrament", "Eve Describes Her Birthday Party", "To Ariadne (deserted by Theseus)" with copy, "Tulips at Dawn", "Spring Again"
£1,000 - 1,500 / US$ 1,400 - 2,200

The following three lots are not a part of the larger Plath archive that has been the focus of other major Bonhams auctions. They are from the estate of the late Winifred Davies and are so exceedingly, excruciatingly rare that I am speechless.

Lot 172
Sylvia Plath
The Colossus & Other Poems, first American edition, AUTHOR'S PRESENTATION COPY, INSCRIBED "For Winifred & Garnett with warmest good wishes - Sylvia Court Green: 1962" on the front free endpaper, New York, Alfred A. Knopf, 1962
£4,000 - 6,000 / US$ 5,800 - 8,700

Lot 173
Sylvia Plath HUGHES (TED) The Hawk in the Rain, FIRST EDITION, 1957; Lupercal, first American edition, New York, Harper & Brothers, 1960; Meet My Folks!, FIRST EDITION, 1961, AUTHOR'S PRESENTATION COPIES INSCRIBED "To Winifred [Davies] and Garnett with my best wishes from Ted, October 1962" (the second and third with addition of "North Tawton"); Wodwo, FIRST EDITION, AUTHOR'S PRESENTATION COPY INSCRIBED "To Winifred [Davies] gratefully from Ted, April 21st 1967", AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED ("yours Ted H.") loosely inserted, 1967, unless otherwise stated Faber & Faber (4)
£600 - 800 / US$ 870 - 1,200

Lot 174
Lot 174 Sylvia Plath
The Bell Jar, FIRST EDITION, Heinemann, [1963]
£1,500 - 2,000 / US$ 2,200 - 2,900

All links accessed 9 May 2016.
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