ROMBAUER (IRMA S.)  The Joy of Cooking, SYLVIA PLATH'S COPY, inscribed "Sylvia Plath 1954" on the half-title and HEAVILY MARKED UP THROUGHOUT, New York, The Bobbs-Merrill Company, [1953]
Lot 311
ROMBAUER (IRMA S.)
The Joy of Cooking, SYLVIA PLATH'S COPY, inscribed "Sylvia Plath 1954" on the half-title and HEAVILY MARKED UP THROUGHOUT, New York, The Bobbs-Merrill Company, [1953]
Sold for £ 4,375 (US$ 5,808) inc. premium

Lot Details
The Property of Frieda Hughes
ROMBAUER (IRMA S.)  The Joy of Cooking, SYLVIA PLATH'S COPY, inscribed "Sylvia Plath 1954" on the half-title and HEAVILY MARKED UP THROUGHOUT, New York, The Bobbs-Merrill Company, [1953]
ROMBAUER (IRMA S.)
The Joy of Cooking, SYLVIA PLATH'S COPY, inscribed "Sylvia Plath 1954" on the half-title and HEAVILY MARKED UP THROUGHOUT, illustrations by Ginnie Hofmann, underscorings, recipes and passages of text marked in black ink on approximately 250 pages, with annotations in Plath's hand next to 3 recipes, and several further pencil annotations by Aurelia Plath, a few old stains resulting in adhesion to pp.269-272, a few old tape repairs, publisher's cloth, lacks spine, worn, 8vo, New York, The Bobbs-Merrill Company, [1953]

Footnotes

  • "THE ONE BOOK I REALLY MISS" - SYLVIA PLATH'S COOKERY BOOK, EXTENSIVELY MARKED UP. "Yesterday I read through the vegetable section of my blessed Rombauer, mouth watering... during the summer I hope to pull enough variety to keep Ted from roaring protest. How I love to cook; the delectable recipes in the book..." (22 July 1956, The Journals of Sylvia Plath, 2000, p.248-9). Plath's ownership inscription is dated 1954, the year she returned to Smith College. In July of that year, whilst attending the Harvard Summer Schoool, she wrote to a friend mentioning the book's "section on what to with leftovers". Having moved to England in 1956 she wrote on three occasions to her mother (who has added her own notes in a few places) requesting that she send over The Joy of Cooking, saying that "It's the one book I really miss!" (Letters Home, 26 April 1956, p.117-8).

    Plath has highlighted in black ink upwards of 250 recipes, in a few cases with her characteristic star" mark - for example "Vichyssoise or French potato soup"; "Hot water pie crust", "Pork chops baked in sour cream", and a two-star recipe for "Breaded veal slices", beside which she writes "Ted likes this". Elsewhere she flags up recipes with the notes "Potato chips", and "Chili con carne", but beside a recipe for creamy chocolate filling she emphatically states "No!" in pencil. On 25 February 1957 Plath noted in her journal "I was worried about becoming too happily stodgily practical: instead of studying Locke, for instance, or writing - I go make an apple pie, or study The Joy Of Cooking, reading it like a rare novel".

    Irma Rombauer self-published The Joy of Cooking in 1931, the year after her husband's suicide, subsequently becoming one of the best selling American cookbooks of the twentieth century. In a passage of the book, highlighted by Plath in the margin, listing the essential ingredients needed for Hors d'oeuvres, Rombauer writes "An index isn't literature, but a careful perusal of it will sometimes produce a poem", an eloquent coupling of cookery and poetry.
Activities
Auction information

This auction is now finished. If you are interested in consigning in future auctions, please contact the specialist department. If you have queries about lots purchased in this auction, please contact customer services.

Buyers' Obligations

ALL BIDDERS MUST AGREE THAT THEY HAVE READ AND UNDERSTOOD BONHAMS' CONDITIONS OF SALE AND AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THEM, AND AGREE TO PAY THE BUYER'S PREMIUM AND ANY OTHER CHARGES MENTIONED IN THE NOTICE TO BIDDERS. THIS AFFECTS THE BIDDERS LEGAL RIGHTS.

If you have any complaints or questions about the Conditions of Sale, please contact your nearest customer services team.

Buyers' Premium and Charges

For all Sales categories excluding Wine, Coins & Medals and Motor Cars and Motorcycles:

Buyer's Premium Rates
25% on the first £175,000 of the Hammer Price
20% from £175,001 to £3,000,000 the Hammer Price
12.5% from £3,000,001 of the Hammer Price

VAT at the current rate of 20% will be added to the Buyer's Premium and charges excluding Artists Resale Right.

Payment Notices

For payment information please refer to the sale catalogue.

Shipping Notices

For information and estimates on domestic and international shipping as well as export licences please contact Bonhams Shipping Department.

Lot symbols
Exempt from tax

Zero rated for VAT, no VAT will be added to the Hammer Price or the Buyer's Premium.

Contacts
  1. Books (UK)
    Auction administration - Books, Maps, Manuscripts and Historical Photographs
    Bonhams
    Work
    Work +44 20 7393 3828
    FaxFax: +44 20 7393 3879
Similar Items