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Showing posts from January, 2018

Sneak Preview of Sylvia Plath/Ted Hughes Bonhams Auction Lots

Maev Kennedy wrote in today's print edition of The Guardian  about the forthcoming Bonhams auction:  "Writers' Lives: Auction offers intimate glimpses inside the marriage of Plath and Hughes" (pg 7). The article, though, posted online yesterday . It's safe to say in the Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes realm, the news went viral. Frieda Hughes is set to auction about 108 lots of items from the estates of Sylvia Plath, Ted Hughes, and Olwyn Hughes that she inherited. The range of items is breathtaking for peanut-crunchers and collectors, archivists, and librarians. Clothing, jewelry, personal library books, typescripts, and realia such as furniture. The items reflect the lives of, at a minimum, Sylvia Plath, Ted Hughes, Frieda Hughes, Nicholas Hughes, Olwyn Hughes, William Hughes, Edith Hughes, Otto Plath, and Aurelia Plath. When I learned about the auction in December it was really hard to obey the request for confidentiality. But, I did it! When I saw the early

Sylvia Plath Collections: Susan Fromberg Schaeffer papers at Boston University

Not truly a Sylvia Plath Collection, but.... Recently I visited the Gotlieb Archival Research Center at Boston University which is really close to my work. The reason I went there was that they have the papers of Susan Fromberg Schaeffer who knew Ted Hughes, Olwyn Hughes, as well as to a lesser degree Frieda and Nicholas Hughes and Carol Hughes. In 2006, Schaeffer (1941-2011, obituary ) published a novel called Poison which is about the most apt name possible for this labored, lumbering 608 page thing. It is a trial to read it, but it is of interest as the novel is loosely based off of the story of Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes, as well as the death of Ted Hughes and the 2002 legal battle over Hughes' will. The story is of Evelyn Graves (Plath) and Peter Grosvenor (Hughes), of Elfie (Assia Wevill), Sigrid (Olwyn), Sophie (Frieda), Andrew (Nicholas), Meena (Carol), Penelope (Dido Merwin), Julia (Susan Fromberg Schaeffer), Rose (probably Elaine Feinstein), and Clare (the woma

360° of Sylvia Plath's Winthrop

Yesterday was one of those Janus January days. Cloudy, windy, unseasonable warm and rainy in the morning, but by noon, the temperatures plummeted, the clouds pushed off and rain water froze seemingly instantly. I had to go to Logan Airport, and so I felt it would be a good day to use the new Ricoh Theta camera I got last month from Brandi. And O!, was I glad I went. That blue sky is amazing... right out of "The Colossus": "A blue sky out of the Oresteia / Arches above us" ( The Colossus , 1960, p. 20). Or, this recalls Plath's own visit to her father's grave from March 1959, written in her journals: "A clear blue day in Winthrop. Went to my father's grave, a very depressing sight" ( The Journals of Sylvia Plath , 2000, p. 473). Plath mined this experience for use in The Bell Jar , published on this day 55 years ago in London. But she changed the scene from that which she recorded in her journals. Here are the links to the Theta images: Th

One Life: Sylvia Plath, Revisited

Over the Christmas holiday I visited my family which is always really nice and they wanted to see the One Life: Sylvia Plath exhibit  which is still on (through May 2018) at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. I had donated a piece, so they wanted to see that, but also to see a little bit about Plath herself, too. They enjoyed the exhibit, and I think walked away with a greater appreciate for the poet, the artist, and the person (Plath, not me!). When we were discussing this visit I knew I had to bring Brandi Rund's gift to me of that Ricoh Theta 360 camera and so I'm happy to share here the seven images I took: 1.  |  2.  |  3.  |  4.  |  5.  |  6.  |  7. Sorry that I am in so many of them; it is fortunate the camera did not break. While in the exhibit, I also tried doing a live Tweet via Periscope , something I had never before done. The quality is wanting of course and the camera itself is a bit wobbly… Lastly, some more photos! I know many of you s

43 Newly Found Articles on Sylvia Plath's First Suicide Attempt

On 24 August 2017, I put out a call for help in searching for articles on Sylvia Plath's first suicide attempt. Tim Clair of Plath Project came to the rescue! Searching a combination of web resources, he identified an article from Mount Pleasant, Iowa's newspaper the Mount Pleasant News . Tim shared with me his searches and queries and as a result, I signed up for and located a cache of additional newspaper articles from across the country. I also popped up to Harvard and found two additional newspaper articles from the Evening Star out of Washington, D.C., from one of their digital resources. So in all, more than forty new articles on Sylvia Plath's first suicide attempt have been identified. This is incredible and please please join me in thanking Tim very sincerely for heeding the call. Below is a bibliography of those articles in order by date, and then by newspaper names. August 25 "Top Student Missing." Newport Daily News . August