09 December 2020

Sylvia Plath's Ex-Libris at Yale

Yale University's Beinecke Library recently acquired four books from Sylvia Plath's library.

Three of the books originated in that big March 2018 auction held by Bonhams. Two are by R.S. Thomas:

Both have birthday inscriptions by Ted Hughes from October 1961. Please note a presentation copy from R. S. Thomas to Plath and Hughes is held by Emory.

The third is The Poems of Gerard Manley Hopkins (1949).

Another book now at Yale, and likely from the auction, is About Sylvia produced by Enid Mark, Plath's former classmate at Smith College.

The fourth book is The Collected Poems of Dylan Thomas, formerly belonging to the late Elizabeth Sigmund. This book sold via Bonhams auction in June 2019. The winner was Peter Harrington Rare Books in London, who flipped it to Yale.

In sum, the Beinecke has a very strong collection of Sylvia Plath books. Each of these has been updated in Sylvia Plath's Library, hosted by LibraryThing.

The Beinecke catalog also lists Winter of Artifice: Three Novelettes by Anais Nin held in the Henry Miller papers as being inscribed to Sylvia & Ted. However, I am not sure this is Plath and Hughes and neither is the library as their surnames are in brackets with a question mark. The papers were part of the Roger Wagner collection. Does anyone know about this? When would Plath and Hughes have met Nin or received this volume?

All links accessed 3 March 2020 and 8-9 December 2020.

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