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Showing posts from May, 2021

Sylvia Plath items at Bonhams New York

Bonhams, New York, is auctioning two rare copies of The Phillipian , the junior high school periodical for the Alice L. Phillips school with early publications of Sylvia Plath's. They are copies from April 1945 and June 1947. Lot 135 : "The Spring Parade" and "May." IN:  The Phillipian , April, 1945 and June 1947. Wellesley Hills, MA: Alice L. Phillips Junior High School, 1945/1947. 4to. Pictorial wrappers. Both with covers detached, partially disbound, second issue lacking some early leaves, chipping and some minor staining. VERY RARE PLATH FIRST APPEARANCES. Two early poems by Sylvia Plath published in the school magazine while a student at the Alice L. Phillips Junior High School in Wellesley Hills. Plath's first published poem was submitted to the Boston Herald in 1941 and published simply under the name "8-Year Old Poet." Although she penned some articles for the school magazine, The Phillipian , the appearance of "The Spring Parade&q

Sylvia Plath items at Bonhams Knightsbridge Auction

Bonhams Knightsbridge is set to auction nearly twenty lots of Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes materials on 24 June 2021 as part of their Fine Books, Manuscripts, and Photographs sale, some of which is currently the property of Frieda Hughes. I had a strange feeling back in the Big 2018 auction, that there would be more. This material is a goldmine of treasures for the rare book market. Lot 130 :  The Hawk in the Rain , first American edition, AUTHOR'S PRESENTATION COPY TO HIS PARENTS, inscribed "To Mom & Dad/Number one on a long shelf." on the title-page, New York, Harper & Brothers, [1957] The Hawk in the Rain , first American edition, AUTHOR'S PRESENTATION COPY TO HIS PARENTS, inscribed "To Mom & Dad/Number one on a long shelf." on the title-page, half-title, contents working loose, some spotting and foxing, publisher's cloth, dampstains on sides, yellow dust-jacket (price-clipped, upper cover and spine soiled with small losses at corners) [Sa

A Reversed Sylvia Plath Photograph

In February, I was looking at some photographs of Sylvia Plath and I was seeing very similar hair styles as the photos were all taken within a few months in 1956. But one of the images made me pause. I was looking at it and looking at it when, of a sudden, it hit me that her hair part was on the left (thus backwards). Back in May 2013, I wrote about this kind of thing happening---photographs being printed in reverse---in Parting Ways with Sylvia Plath .  The photograph in question was one of four that appeared in the 26 May 1956 issue of Varsity in which Plath was trying on dresses, bathing suits, and the like for a feature fashion article published as "Sylvia Plath tours the stores and forecasts May Week Fashions."  Earlier in that week, on 22 May, Plath visited the Robert Sayle's, Joshua Taylor's, and Vogue shops in Cambridge. It was that day too that she wrote the accompanying fashion article. At 2 p.m. she met Ted Hughes and sunned in the yard and then, naturally

Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar Turns 50 (again)

On 14 April 1971, The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath was published in the US. The fiftieth anniversary of that publication just occurred, quietly, last month. The novel's first fiftieth anniversary in 2013 was a very big deal as it was also the fiftieth of Plath's death and articles were published left and right to commemorate the writer and her works. In his Annotated Bibliography of Sylvia Plath, Stephen Tabor reports that Publisher's Weekly initially listed  The Bell Jar was slated to be published on 7 April. Once it appeared it was a success becoming a best seller which kept Harper & Row's printers busy. Tabor reports "two reprints in April 1971, two more in May, and further printings in July, August, and September 1971" (17). The American edition includes a "biographical note" by Lois Ames which published some of Plath's drawings, her "Mlle's Last Word on College, '53", and her poem "Mad Girl's Love Song".

Sylvia Plath's Painted Chair at Auction

Wooley & Wallis auctioned, today, in Lot 605 , a chair painted by Sylvia Plath when she was living at Court Green, Devon, England. It appeared originally at the big  Bonhams sale back in 2018 but failed to sell .  My thanks to Peter Fydler who tweeted about this auction on 9 April. The description reads as follows: A child's nursery elbow chair painted by Sylvia Plath (1932-1963) Estimate: £200 - £400 + Buyers Premium A child's nursery elbow chair painted by Sylvia Plath (1932-1963) With coloured flower and heart pattern over a white ground 47 x 28 x 29cm Together with 3 balls of the red wool used for the original woven seat, and a letter from Frieda Hughes confirming the provenance (5)Provenance: Painted by Sylvia Plath for her children Frieda (b.1960), and Nicholas (b.1962); Loaned by Ted Hughes (1930-1998) to a family friend Property of Frieda Hughes The chair SOLD for £3,500 ($4,936.56) including buyers premium.  Sylvia Plath

Guest Post: A Secret

The following is a guest post contribution by a friend of the blog who goes by the name "S" ~pks . A Secret It is ten years nearly that I flew to Indiana, the library, read her letters. I read the email. A date. There is a flicker. I am reminded of hearts, and poetry. We all have favourite Plath poems. The one absolutely beautiful line. Tender phrases. Three Women and Point Shirley dance and dive as my favourites. I reread the email. Its words are black and glittering in the back of my mind, battening on my memory when I make coffee, watch trees losing leaves. I have sought out Plath’s places, and I’ve been lost in London searching pre Google for 3 Chalcot Square. An auction, however, requires action. Sending Identification. I am no Plath with envelope & stamp each week, organised and methodical. With Addresses. State certified Identification. I send everything to the right address by the right time. I receive a return email. I have a paddle number and have s

Sylvia Plath Zoom Talk: Now Live

It is with the most delight possible that I share the link to last Saturday's Zoom panel on Sylvia Plath which featured a paper given by Sarah Bahr, a poem read and annotated read by Kathleen Ossip, and an announcement about a forthcoming Zoom series that on the Rosenstein Archive of Sylvia Plath research materials made by Emily Van Duyne, Julie Goodspeed-Chadwick, and myself.  The video was made public earlier this morning on YouTube . Thank you to Sarah, Kathleen, Emily, and Julie for contributing to a really rich, warm, and inspiring hour.  The next scheduled Sylvia Plath Zoom talk is on 5 June 2021, at 10:30 am Eastern US time. It will feature Donnie Secreast and Jeanne Marie Beaumont. Meeting link information will be available in mid-May. And maybe in mid-May we can do a spontaneous Plath chat, if there is interest? All links accessed 29 April 2021.