PLATH (SYLVIA) The Colossus & Other Poems, first American edition, AUTHOR'S PRESENTATION COPY, INSCRIBED "For Winifred & Garnett with warmest good wishes - Sylvia Court Green: 1962" on the front free endpaper, New York, Alfred A. Knopf, 1962
Lot 172
PLATH (SYLVIA)
The Colossus & Other Poems, first American edition, AUTHOR'S PRESENTATION COPY, INSCRIBED "For Winifred & Garnett with warmest good wishes - Sylvia Court Green: 1962" on the front free endpaper, New York, Alfred A. Knopf, 1962
Sold for £8,750 (US$ 11,321) inc. premium

Lot Details
PLATH (SYLVIA) The Colossus & Other Poems, first American edition, AUTHOR'S PRESENTATION COPY, INSCRIBED "For Winifred & Garnett with warmest good wishes - Sylvia Court Green: 1962" on the front free endpaper, New York, Alfred A. Knopf, 1962 PLATH (SYLVIA) The Colossus & Other Poems, first American edition, AUTHOR'S PRESENTATION COPY, INSCRIBED "For Winifred & Garnett with warmest good wishes - Sylvia Court Green: 1962" on the front free endpaper, New York, Alfred A. Knopf, 1962
PLATH (SYLVIA)
The Colossus & Other Poems, first American edition, AUTHOR'S PRESENTATION COPY, INSCRIBED "For Winifred & Garnett with warmest good wishes - Sylvia Court Green: 1962" on the front free endpaper, publisher's green cloth, dust-jacket (spine frayed at extremities not touching letters, and small hole touching 2 letters, light stain (?tea) at edge of lower panel), 8vo, New York, Alfred A. Knopf, 1962

Footnotes

  • A RARE AND MOVING PRESENTATION COPY, INSCRIBED BY PLATH TO HER MIDWIFE, CLOSE CONFIDANT AND FELLOW BEE-KEEPER WINIFRED DAVIES. On moving to Devon in 1961 a pregnant Plath at once formed a close friendship with Winifred, writing to her mother "Oh, saw my doctor... whose surgery is three houses up across the street (!) and his marvelous midwife-nurse, whom I liked immediately" (Letters Home, 15 September 1961), and subsequently reporting on Nicholas's birth: "Ted called the midwife. She brought a cylinder of gas and air, and she sat on one side of the bed and Ted on the other, gossiping pleasantly together... [and some days later] I gave the midwife my traditional carrot cake. She is a wonderful woman..." (Letters Home, 18 January 1962).

    Plath's mother Aurelia visited from July to August 1962 during which time, sensing the tension in Sylvia's marriage, she took a room with Winifred, in whom she found a willing ally in her efforts to help Sylvia. On her return to America Aurelia relied on Winifred to update her on Sylvia's situation, and asked her to look after her daughter, so much so that Sylvia wrote in October (mostly probably the month in which the copy of Colossus was inscribed) "Dear Mother, Will you please, for goodness sake, stop bothering poor Winifred Davies!... She is busier than either you or I and is helping me as much as she can...". It was of course during this period that "Plath went on a poetic rampage! She wrote over 25 during the month [October]. Among them are "Stings" [see note to lot xxx], "Wintering", "The Jailer"... "Nick and the Candlestick"... most of them would be published in 1965 as Ariel" (Peter K. Steinberg, online resource www.sylviaplath.info).

    Provenance: Winifred Davies; thence by descent to her son Garnett, the vendor, who recalls "When Sylvia moved to London with the children in 1962 I was living close by. I visited her at her flat in late 1962 and at the beginning of 1963. In early February I was invited to lunch but on arrival I was informed that Sylvia had died three days before".
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