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Showing posts from September, 2018

Happy Anniversary: The Letters of Sylvia Plath, Volume I

Just a brief blog post today to say Happy One Year Anniversary to the Faber edition of The Letters of Sylvia Plath, Volume I: 1940-1956 , published one year ago today. All links accessed: 26 September 2018.

Sylvia Plath and the Hurricane of 1938

One of the most indelible memories of Sylvia Plath's 30 years was the famous and fierce hurricane of 1938 which affected Winthrop, Massachusetts on the evening of Wednesday, 21 September 1938, eighty years ago today, when Plath was nearly six years old. Plath wrote about the hurricane in a some of her works  but this post looks at just two. The first is her poem "The Disquieting Muses": Typescript of Sylvia Plath's "The Disquieting Muses" In this photo, showing the back of the 92 Johnson Avenue house in Winthrop, you can see the "study windows" Plath references in the poem. Facing the water are six, and on either side are three additional windows each. The math works out here: "twelve / Study windows..." And another appearance of the hurricane was in her last prose piece, "Landscape of Childhood" (published as "Ocean 1212-W"). The title of Plath's prose piece comes from her grandparents phone number

Sylvia Plath Finding Aid at Smith College

Smith College has recently published online finding aids to two collections. Sylvia Plath collection, ca.approximately 1930-1998 Collection number: MRBC.MS.00045 Abstract: The Sylvia Plath collection contains writings by and about the American poet, novelist, and Smith College graduate, including poems, journals, articles, and correspondence to and from Plath. The bulk of the collection is manuscript, printed, or published materials but also includes realia, and audio/visual materials. The collection is held by the Mortimer Rare Collection in the Neilson Library. Currently the library is under construction so the collection is accessible in the Young Library, 4 Tyler Drive. The second collection is the papers of Plath's psychiatrist, Ruth Barnhouse (a.k.a. Ruth Beuscher). Ruth Tiffany Barnhouse papers, 1915-1999, 2008 Collection number: SSC.MS.00202 Abstract: Ruth Tiffany Barnhouse was a psychiatrist, theologian, and ordained Episcopal priest known for being poet S

Sylvia Plath Collections: Letters to Ruth Beuscher

The court case Smith College brought against Harriet Rosenstein concerning the fourteen letters from Sylvia Plath to Dr. Ruth Beuscher was settled on 27 December 2017. The court case docket number is/was 1784CV00769-BLS; the case was dismissed with prejudice, the outcome of which was negotiated between the two sides. Anyone can visit the courthouse and review the records generated in the case. In the settlement, Rosenstein surrendered the letters she had been a custodian of since the early 1970s to Smith College. I have known about the fate of these letters since early January 2018 and that they would be allowed in the second volume of Plath's letters shortly thereafter. I must, at this point, apologize to anyone and everyone who has asked me about them for I have lied my face off. But you have to understand, please, that I was expressly forbidden to discuss this matter. However, as of 6 September 2018, when the second volume of The Letters of Sylvia Plath  was published in

The Letters of Sylvia Plath, Volume 2: 1956-1963 Published Today

Today, The Letters of Sylvia Plath, Volume II: 1956-1963  is published by Faber and Faber in England. The book, edited by myself and Karen V. Kukil, concludes a very long journey that was years and years in the making. Before I forget---a reminder: the HarperCollins edition is scheduled for publication on Tuesday, 30 October . If you cannot wait until then, the Faber edition ships internationally via and Book Depository , to name two sellers. The Full Faber Cover Volume II picks up on 28 October 1956, the day after Plath's 24th birthday, with the following exclamation: "What a lovely birthday I had!" (3). She's living still at Whitstead at Newnham College, University of Cambridge, and shortly into the volume she is moving in with her husband Ted Hughes to 55 Eltisley Avenue. The epistolary journey covers the conclusion of Plath's Fulbright; a teaching year at Smith College in Northampton; a writing year in Boston; a cross country journey and

This is Number Three: The Sylvia Plath Auction

The Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes Bonhams auction in March is the gift that keeps on giving, it seems. Because nearly one-quarter of all the lots were purchased jointly between two booksellers, dozens of items are appearing now individually for sale. This is how I procured two additional possessions of Frieda Hughes' in addition to Plath's fishing rod . In July I posted about the presentation copy of Alan C. Jenkins's White Horse, Black Bull , acquired from Modern First Editions. This blog post is about the third, and perhaps final, item from the auction which I have purchased. I have always had an interest in uncorrected proofs of Plath's books. They represent a pre-first edition state, were printed in extremely limited quantities, and often serve as a bridge state between manuscript and first edition. Peter Harrington Books of London acquired Lot 377 which was comprised of thirteen total books. Eleven of them were lightly described in the Bonhams catalog leaving two o