07 January 2020

Harriet Rosentstein's Sylvia Plath Collection

Harriet Rosenstein's Sylvia Plath collection (Update) (More Info) has started to appear on the market nearly two and a half years after it appeared briefly for sale, en masse, online. Originally offered for $875,000, the collection was the subject of a lawsuit between Smith College, Rosenstein, and the bookseller, Ken Lopez.

Famously the fourteen letters from Plath to Dr. Ruth Beuscher are now held by Smith College, and the letters themselves were included at almost the last moment to Volume II.

However, the bulk of Rosenstein's collection was purchased by Emory University where it is now open for research. See the finding aid here, and please not it is also linked on the Sylvia Plath Archival Materials page on A celebration, this is. I am grateful to Carrie Hintz for the notice of the collections availability.

Pieces of the Rosenstein Plath collection are for sale from Peter Grogan Rare Books (ABE page), a fantastic bookseller, based in England. One item, Grogan's Item #20198, does not appear to have any relevance to her research on Plath.

Winter Trees
PLATH, SYLVIA

Published by Faber & Faber, London (1971)

US$ 93.17

About this Item: Faber & Faber, London, 1971. First edition. Plath's putative first biographer Harriet Rosenstein's copy, with her note laid-in. An excellent copy in very slightly rubbed and nicked dustwrapper. Seller Inventory # 20194


Crossing the Water
PLATH, SYLVIA

Published by Faber & Faber, London (1971)

US$ 310.56

About this Item: Faber & Faber, London, 1971. First edition. Plath's putative first biographer Harriet Rosenstein's copy, with her occasional markings and one or two notes to text. A very good copy in somewhat soiled and rubbed dustwrapper chipped at head and base of spine. Seller Inventory # 20195


Wreath for a Bridal
PLATH, SYLVIA

Published by Sceptre Press, Fransham, Surrey (1970)

US$ 242.23

About this Item: Sceptre Press, Fransham, Surrey, 1970. First edition - one of 100 copies on Glastonbury paper, this copy out-of-series (Tabor A7). An excellent copy with one or two tiny spots of soiling. Seller Inventory # 20197


Elsa's Housebook: A Woman's Photojournal
PLATH, SYLVIA). DORFMAN, ELSE

Published by David R. Godine, Boston (1974)

US$ 155.28

About this Item: David R. Godine, Boston, 1974. First edition. Laid-in are two autograph postcards signed by the author to academic and Sylvia Plath scholar Harriet Rosenstein of whom there is a photgraph in the book, with an accompanying note. Wrappers faded around spine but a very good copy. Seller Inventory # 20198


Specimen page and publisher's prospectus for Crystal Gazer and Other Poems
PLATH, SYLVIA

Published by Rainbow Press, London (1971)

US$ 186.33

About this Item: Rainbow Press, London, 1971. Promotional materials for the first publication from Olwyn and Ted Hughes's private press venture. Together with an a.l.s. from Olwyn to Harriet Rosenstein. Small area of foxing to specimen page else in excellent condition. Seller Inventory # 20199


Tri-Quarterly: The Art of Sylvia Plath
PLATH, SYLVIA

Published by Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, Fall (1966)

US$ 62.11

About this Item: Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, Fall, 1966. First edition. Plath's putative first biographer Harriet Rosenstein's copy, with her ownership signature and a few notes on a 5 x 3 card laid-in. Includes a selection of eighteen poems by Sylvia Plath - still little-known in her own country, despite the publication of Aerial and with the first USA edition of The Bell Jar still five years distant - plus critical essays by Ted Hughes, A.Alvarez, Anne Sexton and a biographical essay by Lois Ames. A very good copy in somewhat soiled and rubbed wrappers. Seller Inventory # 20200


15 original photographs of Plath and her children taken in December 1962
PLATH, SYLVIA

Published by 5 x 3 inches, North Tawton, Devon (1962)

US$ 5,590.03

About this Item: 5 x 3 inches, North Tawton, Devon, 1962. Sylvia Plath poses with her children for a poignant series of snapshots taken in the sitting room at Court Green by Susan O'Neill Roe (nanny and dedicatee of "Cut") shortly before the final flight back to London. In excellent condition. Sample images available upon request. Seller Inventory # 20201


Seven early poems to `The Harvard Advocate'
PLATH, SYLVIA (CONTRIBUTES)

Published by Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, May (1967)

US$ 62.11

About this Item: Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, May, 1967. First edition. Includes a series of seven early poems (including `Danse Macabre' and `Mad Girl's Love Song') by Sylvia Plath. A near fine copy in stapled wrappers and quite scarce. Seller Inventory # 20202


Four early poems to `Cambridge Review'
PLATH, SYLVIA (CONTRIBUTES)

Published by Cambridge, 7 February (1969)

US$ 93.17

About this Item: Cambridge, 7 February, 1969. First edition, edited by Simon Schama. Includes four early poems (written at Cambridge and including `Street Song' and `Natural History') by Sylvia Plath and a piece about them by Al Alvarez. A near fine copy in stapled wrappers and distinctly scarce. Seller Inventory # 20206


Sylvia Plath's Growing Popularity with College Students" to `University - a Princeton Quarterly'
PLATH, SYLVIA). HIGGINS, JUDITH - CONTRIBUTES

Published by Princeton University, New Jersey, Fall (1973)

US$ 31.06

About this Item: Princeton University, New Jersey, Fall, 1973. First edition. An extended `Inquiry into a Literary Phenomon' with two illustrations and a potted biography of Sylvia Plath. A near fine copy in stapled wrappers and quite scarce. Seller Inventory # 20207


Two reel-to-reel tapes of a reading by Sylvia Plath and an interview with her by Peter Orr
PLATH, SYLVIA

Published by The British Council - Recorded Sound Section, [London] (1962)

US$ 1,552.79

About this Item: The British Council - Recorded Sound Section, [London], 1962. Later dubbings made in 1969-70 by Peter Orr of The British Council of two tapes: i) Plath's reading of 15 poems as part of the "Contemporary Poets" series (31 minutes and 55 seconds); and ii) her interview with Orr for the series entitled "The Poet Speaks" (14 minutes and 30 seconds) both recorded in London on 30 October1962. In original British Council boxes with internal labels. [Together with] Copies of various BBC records of Plath and Hughes's work for them comprising lists of broadcasts and repeats, scripts, transcriptions of broadcasts etc. All in very good condition. Seller Inventory # 20212


Original negative of a photograph of Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes
PLATH, SYLVIA

Published by image size 3.5 x 3.5 cms c.1958-9, [Yorkshire] (1958)

US$ 931.67

About this Item: image size 3.5 x 3.5 cms c.1958-9, [Yorkshire], 1958. Original negative of an unknown photograph of Plath and Hughes taken in Yorkshire, most likely before their departure for the USA in June 1957. A double-exposed image showing Edith Hughes hovering above the apparently happy couple. It would be foolish to speculate whether this image may have been influential in Plath's choice of Double Exposure as the working-title of her final, lost novel. In excellent condition, together with a modern b&w print (somewhat creased). Seller Inventory # 20218


Original photograph with signature of Otto Plath
PLATH, SYLVIA). PLATH, OTTO

Published by image 4 x 3 inches c.1920?? (1920)

US$ 1,180.12

About this Item: image 4 x 3 inches c.1920??, 1920. Original print of a black-and-white photograph of Otto Plath with his autograph signature "Otto E. Plath" attached alongside. A little-known fact is that Sivvy's wannabe-Fascist daddy was once described by a senior colleague as "the most dedicated and bitter misogynist whom I have known" [and that Otto repeatedly said] "all women are evil." Go figure. Image and signature taped to card backing but in very good condition. Seller Inventory # 20219


A small collection of photographs of North Tawton
PLATH, SYLVIA

Published by various sizes c. 1948-1962, v.p., v.d. (1948)

US$ 310.56

About this Item: various sizes c. 1948-1962, v.p., v.d., 1948. Seven small original b&w prints of North Tawton (and distant views of the beehives at Court Green) taken by John Avery. MORE. Seller Inventory # 20220

All links accessed 14 August 2019 and 7 January 2020.
All items prices listed were obtained on 14 August 2019.

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Publications & Acknowledgements

  • BBC Four.A Poet's Guide to Britain: Sylvia Plath. London: BBC Four, 2009. (Acknowledged in)
  • Biography: Sylvia Plath. New York: A & E Television Networks, 2005. (Photographs used)
  • Connell, Elaine. Sylvia Plath: Killing the angel in the house. 2d ed. Hebden Bridge: Pennine Pens, 1998. (Acknowledged in)
  • Crowther, Gail and Peter K. Steinberg. "These Ghostly Archives." Plath Profiles 2. Summer 2009: 183-208.
  • Crowther, Gail and Peter K. Steinberg. "These Ghostly Archives, Redux." Plath Profiles 3. Summer 2010: 232-246.
  • Crowther, Gail and Peter K. Steinberg. "These Ghostly Archives 3." Plath Profiles 4. Summer 2011: 119-138.
  • Crowther, Gail and Peter K. Steinberg. "These Ghostly Archives 4: Looking for New England." Plath Profiles 5. Summer 2012: 11-56.
  • Crowther, Gail and Peter K. Steinberg. "These Ghostly Archives 5: Reanimating the Past." Plath Profiles 6. Summer 2013: 27-62.
  • Crowther, Gail and Peter K. Steinberg. These Ghostly Archives: The Unearthing of Sylvia Plath. Oxford: Fonthill, 2017.
  • Death Be Not Proud: The Graves of Poets. New York: Poets.org. (Photographs used)
  • Doel, Irralie, Lena Friesen and Peter K. Steinberg. "An Unacknowledged Publication by Sylvia Plath." Notes & Queries 56:3. September 2009: 428-430.
  • Elements of Literature, Third Course. Austin, Tex. : Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 2009. (Photograph used)
  • Gill, Jo. "Sylvia Plath in the South West." University of Exeter Centre for South West Writing, 2008. (Photograph used)
  • Helle, Anita Plath. The Unraveling Archive: Essays on Sylvia Plath. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2007. (Photographs used, acknowledged in)
  • Helle, Anita. "Lessons from the Archive: Sylvia Plath and the Politics of Memory". Feminist Studies 31:3. Fall 2005: 631-652.. (Acknowledged in)
  • Holden, Constance. "Sad Poets' Society." Science Magazine. 27 July 2008. (Photograph used)
  • Making Trouble: Three Generations of Funny Jewish Women, Motion Picture. Directed by Rachel Talbot. Brookline (Mass.): Jewish Women's Archive, 2007. (Photograph used)
  • Plath, Sylvia, and Karen V. Kukil. The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath, 1950-1962. New York: Anchor Books, 2000. (Acknowledged in)
  • Plath, Sylvia, and Peter K. Steinberg and Karen V. Kukil (eds.). The Letters of Sylvia Plath, Volume 1, 1940-1956. London: Faber, 2017.
  • Plath, Sylvia, and Peter K. Steinberg and Karen V. Kukil (eds.). The Letters of Sylvia Plath, Volume 2, 1956-1963. London: Faber, 2018.
  • Plath, Sylvia. Glassklokken. Oslo: De norske Bokklubbene, 2004. (Photograph used on cover)
  • Reiff, Raychel Haugrud. Sylvia Plath: The Bell Jar and Poems (Writers and Their Works). Marshall Cavendish Children's Books, 2008.. (Images provided)
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "'A Fetish: Somehow': A Sylvia Plath Bookmark." Court Green 13. 2017.
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "'I Should Be Loving This': Sylvia Plath's 'The Perfect Place' and The Bell Jar." Plath Profiles 1. Summer 2008: 253-262.
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "'They Had to Call and Call': The Search for Sylvia Plath." Plath Profiles 3. Summer 2010: 106-132.
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "A Perfectly Beautiful Time: Sylvia Plath at Camp Helen Storrow." Plath Profiles 4. Summer 2011: 149-166.
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "Proof of Plath." Fine Books & Collections 9:2. Spring 2011: 11-12.
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "Sylvia Plath." The Spoken Word: Sylvia Plath. London: British Library, 2010.
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "Textual Variations in The Bell Jar Publications." Plath Profiles 5. Summer 2012.
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "The Persistence of Plath." Fine Books & Collections. Autumn 2017: 24-29
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "This is a Celebration: A Festschrift for The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath." Plath Profiles 3 Supplement. Fall 2010: 3-14.
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "Writing Life" [Introduction]. Sylvia Plath in Devon: A Year's Turning. Stroud, Eng.: Fonthill Media, 2014.
  • Steinberg, Peter K. Sylvia Plath (Great Writers). Philadelphia: Chelsea House Publishers, 2004.

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