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Showing posts from May, 2019

Sylvia Plath's Cambridge

One of the things I did when working on The Letters of Sylvia Plath  was to acquire copies of the Varsity Handbook  for 1955-1956 and 1956-1957. Plath herself had these and used them like a bible for learning the ins and outs of life at Cambridge. I was particularly interested in the maps as they give the flavor and feel of the town, the colleges, and the university at that time period. They were indispensable for contextualizing some of Plath's experiences as I read them in her letters and worked on writing footnotes. Here is the cover for the 1955-1956 Varsity Handbook . If I remember correctly, this Handbook lacked the maps. So that was why I bought the 1956-1957 one... because I did have the maps.

Bonhams to Auction Major Sylvia Plath Items Formerly Belonging to Elizabeth Sigmund

Bonhams London will offer at auction some property formerly belonging to Elizabeth Sigmund, Sylvia Plath's friend and co-dedicatee of The Bell Jar .  The auction is part of the Fine Books and Manuscript auction (25355) in London  (Knightsbridge) on 26 June 2019. Links and images to the respective lots will be added when available. All text below gratefully provided from the auction catalogue by Luke Batterham, Senior Valuer at Bonhams. LOT 238 • (24869413/1) PLATH (SYLVIA) THOMAS (DYLAN) The Collected Poems, SYLVIA PLATH'S COPY, ANNOTATED IN FIVE PLACES AND EXTENSIVELY UNDERLINED, with upwards of seventy sentences or passages underscored, marked or bracketed in the margins, in two places with Plath's distinctive "star" symbol in black ink, 13 poems in the Contents marked, photographic frontispiece, publisher's blue cloth, worn, spine soiled and split, 8vo , New York, A New Directions Book [by James Laughlin], [1953] £3,000 - 5,000 €3,400 - 5,700

Sylvia Plath in Granta (and Spare Rib)

One of the best things one can do is read the periodicals in which Sylvia Plath's work was published. Many are held in libraries and archives, some have even been digitized. Some exist, also, on microfilm or microfiche which is not the best product but will be useful and functional for a long time to come. Several people sent me "tip" money last year for which I am grateful. I promised to use that for the benefit of my Plathing and perhaps it trickles down to you, too? With some of that money I recently acquired the 20 October 1956 issue of Granta magazine in which was printed Plath's short story "The Day Mr Prescott Died". Looking at the table of contents two names ring bells with me. One is Michael Frayn, with whom Plath was friendly. Frayn is both mentioned in Plath's letters and was sent at least one letter, too, in March of 1957. The other name is Bamber Gascoigne, who is now a British television presenter and author, best known for being th

Guest Post: Aurelia Plath’s Shorthand, Now in English

The following post was submitted by Catherine Rankovic. Thank you Catherine for your work in deciphering, or, rather, transcribing Aurelia Schober Plath's Gregg shorthand into English, and for making it available to us. ~pks Aurelia Plath hand-wrote hundreds of notes and comments on the nearly 700 letters she received from Sylvia, and on their envelopes and Sylvia-related correspondence archived at the Lilly Library. Most annotations are in plain English but some are in Gregg shorthand, a professional note-taking system Aurelia learned in business college and taught. I first saw (and was awed by) the original letters in 2012, began cataloging and transcribing Aurelia’s shorthand in 2013, and presented preliminary findings at the Sylvia Plath Conference in Belfast in 2017. The 159 shorthand annotations I found in the Plath mss. II correspondence and in Plath's personal library are now in a downloadable Excel file along with a short PDF “key” about the table . Aurelia wrote