BIBLE The Holy Bible, Authorized King James Version, SYLVIA PLATH'S ANNOTATED COPY, WITH MANY PASSAGES UNDERLINED, inscribed  on the front free endpaper "To our dear Sylvia - "understanding is the line of demarcation between the real and unreal." S & H. 505.20-21. With love from the Cantors, September 1, 1952, Chatham, Mass.", New York and London, The Oxford University Press, [n.d.]
Lot 308
BIBLE
The Holy Bible, Authorized King James Version, SYLVIA PLATH'S ANNOTATED COPY, WITH MANY PASSAGES UNDERLINED, inscribed on the front free endpaper "To our dear Sylvia - "understanding is the line of demarcation between the real and unreal." S & H. 505.20-21. With love from the Cantors, September 1, 1952, Chatham, Mass.", New York and London, The Oxford University Press, [n.d.]
Sold for £ 8,750 (US$ 11,617) inc. premium

Lot Details
The Property of Frieda Hughes
BIBLE The Holy Bible, Authorized King James Version, SYLVIA PLATH'S ANNOTATED COPY, WITH MANY PASSAGES UNDERLINED, inscribed  on the front free endpaper "To our dear Sylvia - "understanding is the line of demarcation between the real and unreal." S & H. 505.20-21. With love from the Cantors, September 1, 1952, Chatham, Mass.", New York and London, The Oxford University Press, [n.d.] BIBLE The Holy Bible, Authorized King James Version, SYLVIA PLATH'S ANNOTATED COPY, WITH MANY PASSAGES UNDERLINED, inscribed  on the front free endpaper "To our dear Sylvia - "understanding is the line of demarcation between the real and unreal." S & H. 505.20-21. With love from the Cantors, September 1, 1952, Chatham, Mass.", New York and London, The Oxford University Press, [n.d.]
BIBLE
The Holy Bible, Authorized King James Version, SYLVIA PLATH'S ANNOTATED COPY, WITH MANY PASSAGES UNDERLINED, inscribed on the front free endpaper "To our dear Sylvia - "understanding is the line of demarcation between the real and unreal." S & H. 505.20-21. With love from the Cantors, September 1, 1952, Chatham, Mass.", loosely inserted a newspaper cutting (with photo portrait of Plath) about Plath's winning of the "Mademoiselle" short-story competition on which Plath has written in pencil "Christ died for you!!", publisher's cloth, worn, upper hinge splitting, 16mo (162 x 110mm.), New York and London, The Oxford University Press, [n.d.]

Footnotes

  • "YOU WOULDN'T BE PUNISHED IF NOT GUILTY" - SYLVIA PLATH'S BIBLE, with numerous passages underlined, 18 highlighted in the margin with Plath's characteristic star symbol, and the addition of occasional notes. These include "You wouldn't be Punished..." against a passage in the Book of Job, seemingly a section of particular resonance with Plath. In her journal for 10 January 1959 she noted "Am reading the book of Job: great peace derived therefrom. Shall read the Bible: symbolic meaning, even though the belief in moral God-structured universe not there..." (The Journals, 2014, p.462). In two places in Genesis and Deuteronomy she has written the word "Incest" against passages relating to the subject, in Genesis the word "God" (in red ink), and in Revelations 13.18 the numerals "666" next to a passage concerning "the number of the beast". The underlined passages are in approximately equal measure between the Old and New Testaments, ranging from "for it is better to marry than to burn" (Corinthians 7), to "why hast thou set me as a mark against thee, so that I am a burden to myself?" (Job 7), and "They took the young me to grind, and children, and the children fell under the wood" (Ezekiel 1).

    The Bible was given to Plath by the Cantor family on 1 September 1952, after she had spent the summer looking after the three Cantor children at their home at Chatham, Cape Cod. The Cantors were Christian Scientists, Plath herself having found the job through an advertisement in the Christian Science Monitor (which had published several of her early poems and stories). In their presentation note the Cantors quote an important tenet of their beliefs, a sentence extracted from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Christian Science's founder Mary Baker Eddy. On 7 September 1952 Plath wrote to Margaret Cantor stating that her summer spent with the family "has been a milestone in my life in many ways. You and Mr. Cantor have both been such a dear "mom and dad" to me...." and hoping that "in my life and futu[re] relations with people I can shed a small part of the love of rightness and real living which I have learne[d] from you" (The Letters, vol. 1, Faber, 2017, p.502).
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