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Showing posts from March, 2022

Folio Society Publishes Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar

London's Folio Society has recently published an edition of Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar . This edition includes a thoughtful introduction by Heather Clark and six illustrations by Alexandra Levasseur. Details on the book:  Bound in blocked cloth. Set in Verdigris. 248 pages. Frontispiece and 6 colour illustrations (including a double-page spread). Blocked slipcase. 8 ¾" x 5 ½". No apparent ISBN. I particularly like that it is set in Verdigris which is Plathian, as you may recall the line from "Death & Co.": "The nude / Verdigris of the condor." Of course the typeface has nothing to do with condor's coloring as Plath saw it, but just as a word it is a nice association.   The slipcase has a series of rectangle boxes that are designed, I imagine, to reflect the famous Shirley Tucker design for the first Faber edition.    Buy the book ! My copy was delivered swiftly! Faber and Faber will be releasing their own illustrated edition of The Bell J

The Collected Writings of Assia Wevill Wins!

On 22 February, Julie Goodspeed-Chadwick and I received word that our recently edited and published book The Collected Writings of Assia Wevill , published by the LSU Press, won the Susan Koppelman Award for the Best Anthology, Multi-Authored, or Edited book in Feminist Studies in Popular and American Culture issued by the Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association . The formal announcement was made yesterday and Julie and I have been invited to the PCA's virtual conference in April. Wow. Just wow. And it being announced intentionally or not on the anniversary of the deaths of Assia and Shura Wevill was meaningful. From her Penguin Random House authors page, "Susan H. Koppelman is a feminist literary historian and anthologist. Her credits include T wo Friends and Other 19th-Century American Lesbian Stories , Between Mothers and Daughters , The Strange History of Suzanne LaFleshe , and The Signet Classic Book of Southern Short Stories ." If you have not done

Sylvia Plath Books at Forum Auctions

On 24 February 2022, Forum Auctions had two lots of Sylvia Plath books.  Lot 235 was just a single book, the limited edition of Lyonnesse , number 37 of 90 copies in full calf from an edition limited to 400 copies, original calf gilt by Zaehnsdorf, very slight rubbing to spine tips, t.e.g., others uncut, glacine dust-jacket, minor chipping to spine tips and corners, slip-case, folio, Rainbow Press, 1971. It sold for £460 which was more than double the high estimate of £150 - £200. Lot 236 included several limited edition books and sold for £700, which was more than double the high estimate of £200 - £300. Included in the lot were Lyonnesse , number 272 of 300 copies, original morocco-backed boards, , t.e.g., others uncut, slip-case, Rainbow Press, 1971; Three Women , number 171 of 180 copies, printed in red and black, illustrations by Stanislaus Gliwa, original pictorial cloth, gilt, Turret Books, 1978; Crystal Gazer and other poems , number 137 of 300 copies, light toning to endpape

Article on Sylvia Plath's A Winter Ship

After the Bonhams auction last June where 24 copies of Sylvia Plath's 1960 limited edition of  A Winter Ship , printed by the Tragara Press was sold, I started investigating this publication. The result of this research is an article, recently published in the Spring 2022 issue of  The Book Collector The following summary inventory was written to accompany the article but had to be cut, understandably, for space issues. I am terrifically grateful to James Fleming for his support of my article and for taking it on. I would also like to thank Rebecca Rego Barry, the fine editor of Fine Books & Collections for reading an early draft of the piece. Inventory Copies with wrappers: 1: Lot 131 sold at Bonhams, June 2021, privately owned 2: Lot 140 sold at Bonhams, June 2021, privately owned 3-24: Lot 141, sold at Bonhams, June 2021 25: Lot 159, sold at Bonhams, December 2021 (for sale from Raptis Rare Books as of 23 February 2022) Copies without wrappers formerly belonging

Winthrop and a Bostonian Fire!

In her journal, on 9 March 1959, Sylvia Plath wrote about her and Ted Hughes' recent excursion to Winthrop. It was a memorable occasion as Plath wrote about it in her journal, used the experience in composing "Electra on Azalea Path", and transformed the visit again for a scene in The Bell Jar .  Wrongly, I always assumed Plath and Hughes visited Winthrop on 9 March, the date on which Plath wrote about it. But in reading the Journals in full last year, I realized my error for in the first paragraph she said, "after coming back from a fine afternoon in Winthrop yesterday". I always concentrated on the next paragraph:  A clear blue day in Winthrop. Went to my father's grave, a very depressing sight. Three grave yards separated by streets, all made within the last fifty years or so, ugly crude block stones, headstones together, as if the dead were sleeping head to head in a poorhouse. In the third yard, on a flat grassy area looking across a sallow barren stre

Sylvia Plath hears Truman Capote

On Tuesday, 16 December 1958, Sylvia Plath wrote in her journal about hearing Truman Capote read at Harvard's Sanders Theater.  It is not clear when she and Hughes decided to attend the event, which the Boston Globe promoted on 11 December as "An Evening with Truman Capote", but attend they did.   On the 14th, this ad appeared:  Plath wrote, "Truman Capote this weekend: a baby-boy, must be in his middle thirties. Big head, as of a prematurely delivered baby, an embryo, big white forehead, little drawstring mouth, shock of blond hair, mincy skippy fairy body in black jacket, velvet or corduroy, couldn't tell from where we sat. Ted & men hated the homosexual part of him with more than usual fury. Something else: jealousy at his success? If he weren't successful there would be nothing to anger at. I was very amused, very moved, only Holiday Golightly left me more chilly than when I read her" (442). From this we can deduce that Plath read Capote's n