PLATH (SYLVIA) Carbon typescript of her story "Mary Ventura and the Ninth Kingdom", with letter of rejection from <i>Mademoiselle</i> magazine, 11 March 1953
Lot 169*
PLATH (SYLVIA)
Carbon typescript of her story "Mary Ventura and the Ninth Kingdom", with letter of rejection from Mademoiselle magazine, 11 March 1953
Sold for £625 (US$ 787) inc. premium

Lot Details
PLATH (SYLVIA)
Carbon typescript of her story "Mary Ventura and the Ninth Kingdom", opening: "Red neon lights blinked automatically, and a voice grated from the loudspeaker. ʻTrain leaving, on track three. . . train leaving . . ."; with typed cover-page bearing Sylvia Plath's name and Lawrence House, Smith College, address; together with the typed letter signed by Margarita G. Smith, Fiction Editor of Mademoiselle, to "Dear Sylvia Plath", returning the typescript ("...Many thanks for letting us see the enclosed story; unfortunately, it didn't seem to be right for MLLE./ We do hope we'll be hearing from you in the Fiction Contest this year. And anytime you have something you think might be suitable for us, we'll be happy to have a chance to read it..."), the carbon 22 pages; the letter 1 page, with printed heading, paper-clip mark, both 4to, the letter 11 March 1953

Footnotes

  • ʻDEAR SYLVIA PLATH: MANY THANKS FOR LETTING US SEE THE ENCLOSED STORY' – a short story and letter of rejection for Sylvia Plath. The first version of ʻMary Ventura and the Ninth Kingdom' is a self-confessed experiment in ʻsymbolic allegory', employing religious imagery in a secular context. The first version of which was finished on 12 December 1952, with a revised version completed on 27 December 1954. Soon after the revision, she was to write to her mother that she was not sending the story to a competition as ʻI think it is much too fantastic and symbolic for what they want' (29 January 1955). After Sylvia's death, her mother wrote that: ʻI look upon this story as very symbolic of Sylvias life, She had to pull the emergency switch which allowed her to escape from the train. As she dashed up the green hill, surrounded by beautiful countryside, she found the plump, kindly old lady (Grammy) sitting there, knitting, and smiling and welcome' (Tracy Brain, The Other Sylvia Plath, 2001, pp.35-6): see Aurelia's note to the typescript at the Lilly Library (Plath MSS II, Box 8, folder 15). The present typescript and accompanying letter derive from Aurelia's estate (Sotheby's, New York, 6 April 1982).
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