23 November 2020

New Book with Sylvia Plath Chapter

Susan E. Schwartz, who has published a number of essays on Sylvia Plath, has a book coming out with Routledge entitled The Absent Father Effect on Daughters: Father Desire Father Wounds. Chapter 14 is called "Sylvia Plath's 'Daddy'". The publication date is scheduled for next Monday, 30 November 2020. 

The book description, from the Routledge website, reads:

The Absent Father Effect on Daughters investigates the impact of absent – physically or emotionally – and inadequate fathers on the lives and psyches of their daughters through the perspective of Jungian analytical psychology. This book tells the stories of daughters who describe the insecurity of self, the splintering and disintegration of the personality, and the silencing of voice.

Issues of fathers and daughters reach to the intra-psychic depths and archetypal roots, to issues of self and culture, both personal and collective. Susan E. Schwartz illustrates the maladies and disappointments of daughters who lack a father figure and incorporates clinical examples describing how daughters can break out of idealizations, betrayals, abandonments, and losses to move towards repair and renewal. The book takes an interdisciplinary approach, expanding and elucidating Jungian concepts through dreams, personal stories, fairy tales and the poetry of Sylvia Plath, along with psychoanalytic theory, including Andre Green's 'dead father effect' and Julia Kristeva’s theories on women and the body as abject.

Examining daughters both personally and collectively affected by the lack of a father, The Absent Father Effect on Daughters is highly relevant for those wanting to understand the complex dynamics of daughters and fathers to become their authentic selves. It will be essential reading for anyone seeking understanding, analytical and depth psychologists, other therapy professionals, academics and students with Jungian and post-Jungian interests.

Susan E. Schwartz is a Jungian analyst and clinical psychologist in Arizona, USA. As a member of the International Association of Analytical Psychology she has taught and presented at conferences and workshops in the United States and worldwide. She has several articles and book chapters on these aspects of Jungian psychology.

ISBN: 9780367360856. Hardback: $155.00. Paperback: $38.95. Kindle edition: $29.49.

All links accessed 9 August 2020. 

16 November 2020

Sylvia Plath Collections: The Rosenstein Tapes

The Rosenstein tapes are getting use which is wonderful. I hope everyone accessing them is enjoying them and learning new information about Sylvia Plath and her life, times, experiences, and acquaintances. 

Many of the tapes are showing, right now in Emory's The Keep, as undated. This blog post addresses that by presenting the dates listed on Rosenstein's typed interview notes. Email the Rose Library if you want to eavesdrop, too. 

I am offering the interview date information two ways, first is alphabetical by last name of the interviewee. The second way is in date order. If so chosen, the latter way allows you to learn information in just the same fashion that Rosenstein did. It is interesting to see revelations, corrections of errors, and the like. 


Alvarez, Al: 1970 August 8

Avery, John: 1970 August 3

Axworthy, Nancy: 1973 December 5

Bailey, Norman: circa 1975 February 1

Baskin, Leonard: 1971 December 16

Beuscher, Ruth: 1970 June 16

Blackwell, Connie Taylor: 1974 April 20

Booth, Susan O'Neill-Roe: 1973 December 5

Brody, Sally: 1971 December 30

Burton, Kay: 1973 December 11

Compton, David: 1973 December 7

Davies, Winifred: 1970 August 8

Davison, Jane: 1973 November 6 and 1974 August 4

Davison, Peter: 1973 November 6

Fainlight, Ruth and Alan Sillitoe: 1970 August 9

Gibian, George & Smith folks: 1971 December 15

Hayes, Ildiko: Undated, probably circa 1973 December 11-13

Horder, John: 1970 August 12

Jacobson, Dan: 1973 November 10

Jenkins, Alan and Nancy: 1973 December 4

Kane, Marvin: 1973 November 27

Klein, Elinor: 1971 October 11

Kopp, Jane Baltzell: 1974 July 16 and August 2

Lameyer, Gordon: 1974 May 12

Levy, Lisa: 1974 April 18

Lucie-Smith, Edward: 1970 July 28    

Macedo, Helder and Suzanne: 1973 November 27-December 1, and undated

Merwin, W. S.: 1974 April 15-16

Meshoulam, Iko & Felicity: 1973 December 3

Murphy, Richard: 1974 April 19

Norton, Perry & Shirley: 1974 April 12

Orr, Peter: Undated, circa 1970 July 28-29

Plath, Aurelia Schober: Undated (Mrs. Plath is giving a public talk on her daughter)

Pratson, Patricia O'Neill: 1972 February 2

Roche, Clarissa: 1973 November 20

Roche, Paul: 1973 November 21

Rosenthal, Jon: 1971 December 1

Rosenthal, M.L.: 1971 November 9

Secker-Walker, Lorna and David: 1970 July 25

Shook, Margaret (interview and lecture): 1971 December 16-17

Sigmund, Elizabeth: 1973 December 3-4

Steiner, Nancy Hunter: 1971 October 10

Stern, Marcia: 1972 January 20

Thwaite, Anthony: 1973 November 21

Weldon, Fay: 1973 November 19

Wertz, Richard: 1971 September 29

Wober, J. Mallory: 1973 December 7

Woody, J. Melvin: 1972 January 1

Zorn, Carl: 1976 October 27

Unidentified friend of Assia Wevill: Undated circa 1970 July 28-29

Unidentified English couple (possibly the Frankforts or Secker-Walkers): Undated


1970 June 16, Ruth Beuscher

1970 July 25, Lorna and David Secker-Walker

1970 July 28, Edward Lucie-Smith 

1970 July 28-29 (circa), Peter Orr

1970 July 28-29 (circa), Unidentified friend of Assia Wevill

1970 August 3, John Avery 

1970 August 8, Al Alvarez 

1970 August 8, Winifred Davies 

1970 August 9, Ruth Fainlight and Alan Sillitoe 

1970 August 12, John Horder 

1971 September 29, Richard Wertz 

1971 October 10, Nancy Hunter Steiner 

1971 October 11, Elinor Klein 

1971 November 9, M.L Rosenthal 

1971 December 1, Jon Rosenthal 

1971 December 15, George Gibian & Smith folks 

1971 December 16, Leonard Baskin

1971 December 16-17, Margaret Shook (interview and lecture) 

1971 December 30, Sally Brody

1972 January 1, J. Melvin Woody 

1972 January 20, Marcia Stern

1972 February 2, Patricia O'Neill Pratson

1973 November 6, Jane Davison 

1973 November 6, Peter Davison 

1973 November 10, Dan Jacobson

1973 November 19, Fay Weldon 

1973 November 20, Clarissa Roche

1973 November 21, Paul Roche

1973 November 21, Anthony Thwaite

1973 November 27, Marvin Kane 

1973 November 27-December 1, and undated, Helder and Suzanne Macedo

1973 December 3, Iko & Felicity Meshoulam

1973 December 3-4, Elizabeth Sigmund

1973 December 4, Alan and Nancy Jenkins

1973 December 5, Nancy Axworthy

1973 December 5, Susan O'Neill-Roe Booth 

1973 December 7, David Compton

1973 December 7, J. Mallory Wober

1973 December 11, Kay Burton

1973 December 11-13 (Undated, probably circa), Ildiko Hayes 

1974 April 12, Perry & Shirley Norton 

1974 April 15-16, W.S. Merwin 

1974 April 18, Lisa Levy 

1974 April 19, Richard Murphy 

1974 April 20, Connie Taylor Blackwell 

1974 May 12, Gordon Lameyer

1974 July 16 and August 2, Jane Baltzell Kopp 

1974 August 4, Jane Davison 

1975 February 1 (circa), Norman Bailey 

1976 October 27, Carl Zorn 

Undated, Aurelia Schober Plath (Mrs. Plath is giving a public talk on her daughter)

Undated, Unidentified English couple (possibly the Frankforts or Secker-Walkers)

Click here to see the collection's finding aid.  

One gets the impression that some tapes were lost or that some tapes were damaged irreparably, or that, even, some tapes were recorded over at some point. There are a lot more interview notes than there are tapes. And for some, like Ildiko Hayes,  there is an interview tape but no typed notes. Also, I guess one (me, and maybe others) gets the impression that material is missing from these papers. Where, for example, is Rosenstein's collection of Plath's publications? Are we to believe she was doing all this work and did not have a file of poems, stories, and other works? 

All links accessed 12 and 13 November 2020.

12 November 2020

Sylvia Plath's Mutual of Omaha Insurance Card

One of the items in the Big Bonhams auction back in 2018 was a wallet containing seven membership cards (Lot 330) to various organizations such as the Boston Public Library, her drivers license, the Poetry Society of America, and an insurance card with Mutual of Omaha (see this post, if interested). The winner of the lot has been selling the cards off one by one. They have appeared in various auction houses (Nate Sanders last December for $1500), Barneby's for $7,500!, and ebay) and formats since that time. At one point some where being offered for obscenely unrealistic prices. Most have sold, I believe. 

Minutes ago, Plath's insurance card with Mutual of Omaha was offered for sale via Heritage Auctions. It is signed "Sylvia P. Hughes" and Plath has also filled in her husband's name. The back of the card was filled out by Aurelia Schober Plath as the emergency contact person and includes Sylvia Plath's religious affiliation and blood type which was O. As a straight-A student, I'm sure she was happy getting an O on her blood type, than a B. 

The card sold for $1,300 ($1562.50 including buyer's premium). Congratulations to the winner. 

My thanks to Jett Whithead for alerting me to the auction.

All links accessed 12 November 2020.

09 November 2020

Sylvia Plath Collections: The Rosenstein Tapes

A few weeks back, Gail Crowther and I discussed a bit the Rosenstein audio tapes which have been digitized by Emory and are available to listen to from the comfort of your home or office. It was mentioned, as well, in my talk with Heather Clark and in this blog post

All one needs to do is write to the Rose Library, sign a waiver, and you will receive a login to access the materials in The Keep. The tapes are really interesting but must be listened to with the volume on high, but beware that occasional shouts and laughter and other noises (phones, babies, toddlers, airplanes, cars, motorcycles, sirens, matches being struck) frequently appear and thus you could blow out your eardrums. Please note there is Ted Hughes material in this as well. And, bonus material is digitized home video from Gerald Hughes' Christmas 1964 visit to England. There are two: one is centered in London and features, very briefly, Ted Hughes and Assia Wevill. Another one is from North Tawton, Yorkshire, and Ireland and features many Court Green, Hughes family members, The Beacon, and more. Elizabeth Sigmund (then Compton) appears twice. As well as Plath's cats Tiger-Pieker and Skunky-Bunks. 

Upon listening to nearly all the tapes now, it is evident that the finding aid to the collection is wanting. As critical as that sounds, the finding is still very useful and it takes Plath specialists, sometimes, to really sort things out. Especially since it is clear the tape labels by Rosenstein are, well, fairly inaccurate. The following is a list of actual interviewees. It is organized by Emory's ID number for the audio recording. I have passed this along to them so hopefully the finding aid will be updated too. What is misleading is that though there are two tapes, for example, of Winifred Davies and one with Al Alvarez, there is no indication under their names (as of today) that there is any digital content for them. So please read the finding aid very carefully. I have been listening to the tapes in alphabetical order, but part of me wishes I had listened to them in chronological order. And frustratingly, most of the interview tapes are showing as "undated"; yet Rosenstein's typed notes are dated. The staff really should work with the paper part of the collection to enrich the audio part of the collection.  

I recommend strongly supporting the Rose Library if you take advantage of this opportunity to get archives fever remotely. Even a small amount of money can help and there are several bucket that are appropriate including Digitization (MARBL Fund for Excellence/Linda Matthews fund) and literary acquisitions (Literary Collections Fund).

OK, so, it might be kind of confusing and I am sorry about that, but below is a list of corrections. 

id v5zq0 & id v6mpw are Dr Ruth Beuscher, or, Barnhouse as is listed in the Finding Aid. Dr. Beuscher further exemplifies how dodgy she was as a psychiatrist by reading her therapy notes to Rosenstein. We know she read the McLean files into a tape (that tape was sent to Frieda Hughes), too.  In the finding aid, v6mpw is listed as "Miss Morton" which I think must be intentionally misleading. 

id v48t8 Nancy Axworthy also briefly features Elizabeth Compton Sigmund (who stopped by). Not sure this is worth adding but just thought I'd mention it.

id v79g6 is the second part of Winifred Davies (it continues v48qv).

id v549v is Norman Bailey Part 2. At 57:54 it ends and a couple of seconds later it begins the interview with Dan Jacobson to the end of the tape, about five minutes. 

Then, confusingly, v54jt continues the Dan Jacobson interview for nearly two minutes... but then switches to the beginning of the Norman Bailey interview. Very peculiar... I don't envy the cataloger who has to explain that in the finding aid! 

idv54jt concludes Dan Jacobson; but at about 1:46 in changes to Norman Bailey.

id v62p7 is Edward Lucie-Smith, not Peter Orr.

"Alda" Macedo is Helder Macedo.

In the finding aid under Roche there is an AV listing that reads "interview recording, part three, undated" but there is no [Digital/digitized copy] notation underneath it. Will that be digitized sometime? It's situated in the finding aid just above Box 3 Folder 14.  (It was determined that this tape was blank the whole way through.)

id v76xp is M. L. Rosenthal.

id v54c4 is Nancy Hunter Steiner (Part 1).

id v54b0 is Nancy Hunter Steiner (Part 2) to 3:57; then Richard Wertz to 38:03; then Lorna and David Secker-Walker to 39:06; then "Rudy" & HR making a test telephone recording to 45:57; and then an English man and woman to end.

idv77r3 is Marcia Brown Stern for the first 29 minutes; the rest of the tape is part of Sally Brody.

id v75v9 is definitely Faye Weldon.

id v78dt is J Melvin Woody to about 19:45 and then switches to a completely-unrelated-to-Plath Group Conversation.

id v7b52 is Carl Zorn.

id v7b4x is Carl Zorn until about 38:17 and then switches to a (probably bootlegged?) recording of Aurelia Schober Plath talking about Letters Home and The Bell Jar with an audience. Rosenstein and another woman listening to the recording and commenting.

Also, in the finding aid under Merwin, the reference number for the Lameyer portion of the tape reads id z52r4 but it should be v5zr4. Or vice versa.

And, under Peter Orr, id v6mq7 should be v6mq1. Or vice versa.

All links accessed 5 and 9 November 2020.

06 November 2020

Sylvia Plath in TLS

Sylvia Plath published two poems in the 6 November 1959 issue of TLS (Times Literary Supplement). They appeared just at the end of her time at Yaddo, and mere weeks before she sailed from New York back to England, for good. The TLS is a large format periodical printed on newspaper paper. Back in 1959 the issues were very big, certainly much bigger than it is today.

This title is harder to come by, and indeed I believe its format also makes it more difficult to find in the original. But I was able to locate and acquire a copy recently with the help of some "tip" money a few kind people sent. See, I told you I would use it for Plath stuff! How I am going to store it is a question since it is a bigger item and the paper rather more fragile (acidic, brittle) than the kind used in magazines and journals.

The two poems were "The Hermit at Outermost House" and "Two Views of a Cadaver Room". Plath submitted them sometime in 1959; just when is not known. They were accepted, however, in a 6 July 1959 letter to her from editor Alan Pryce-Jones. When the letter was received, Plath and Hughes were on their cross country trip of North America; and it must have been welcome news when she received it (as were all publication acceptances).

See a gallery of covers of publications in which Plath's work appeared on A celebration, this is.

All links accessed 24 February 2020.

01 November 2020

Collected Writings of Assia Wevill manuscript submitted


Julie Goodspeed-Chadwick and I are very happy to say we submitted our manuscript for The Collected Writings of Assia Wevill to the published, LSU Press, last Monday, 26 October. We are very excited to see it in their hands. 

The manuscript, including more than twenty photographs and scans of documents we will use for illustrations, stretches to 298 pages. In it, you will read Assia Wevill's life and experiences in her own words with contextual annotations that bring color and information to her texts.

We began this project with a vision to assemble Selected Writings back in the spring of 2018 and it is so thrilling to see it to this point, where we of necessity had to elevate it to something as comprehensive as a Collected Writings

It was an honor and a privilege to work on this project---Julie's third book; my fifth book (the sixth is done, nearly, too)---with Julie, and our contacts at the Press have been marvelous. Thank you, Julie! And, as well, thank you to any who have an interest in this book. 

If all is fair and equal the book should be published in about a year.

Books authored by Julie Goodspeed-Chadwick:


Modernist Women Writers and War: Trauma and the Female Body in Djuna Barnes, H.D., and Gertrude Stein (LSU Press, 2011)

Reclaiming Assia Wevill : Sylvia Plath, Ted Hughes, and the Literary Imagination (LSU Press, 2019)

Books authored/edited by me:


Sylvia Plath (Chelsea House, 2004)

These Ghostly Archives: The Unearthing of Sylvia Plath with Gail Crowther (Fonthill Press, 2017)

The Letters of Sylvia Plath, Volume I: 1940-1956 with Karen V. Kukil (Faber, 2017)

The Letters of Sylvia Plath, Volume II: 1956-1963 (Faber, 2018)

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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.