Two copies of Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar

I bought recently two editions of Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar that I did not have. They have something in common: relatively hideous covers!

The first one here is the 2015 Arcturus edition. And what chafes me about this one is on the back, there is a "quote", presumably from the book: "If you expect nothing from anybody, you're never disappointed". However, anyone really familiar with the novel will know it is a misquote. Esther's actual words are: "If you expect nothing from somebody you are never disappointed." These words appear in Chapter Five and funnily enough---sloppily enough---it appears correct in the text block. So, shame on the person who wrote the text for the back of the book. The error is repeated in th3 2018 edition.

The second cover here is an edition published by Robin Books, an imprint of Adarsh Books, which hails from New Dehli, India. I have no clue at all what the heck is going on with the cover, but it was a book I've secretly, lustily wanted for years and years. And finally found a copy. This edition includes an introduction by Saransh Sharma.

Both of these acquisitions were made possible by generous "tips" from readers of this blog and I am very grateful to them. Ugly though the covers are, I was drawn to them as they reflect the packaging f Sylvia Plath, which is a fascinating subject. Tracy Brain discusses this subject in her The Other Sylvia Plath. Anyway...Thank you!

If you benefited from this post or any content on the Sylvia Plath Info Blog, my website for Sylvia Plath (A celebration, this is), and @sylviaplathinfo on Twitter, then please consider sending me a tip via PayPal. Thank you for at least considering! All funds will be put towards my Sylvia Plath research.


  1. I find it really interesting for some reason that the painting on the first of these editions - Henry Lamb's Portrait of a Woman - is also on the cover of an Oxford ed I have of Jane Eyre. Is it an obvious choice for a novel about young women breaking boundaries?

    1. That is really interesting; I guess it's a popular painting and reasonable to use (monetarily speaking) on book covers. Now I want to re-read Jane Eyre.


Post a Comment