HUGHES (TED) AND THOMAS GUNN Selected Poems, FIRST EDITION, PRESENTATION COPY FROM TED HUGHES TO SYLVIA PLATH, INSCRIBED "To darling Sylvia on the 10th of May, 1962. all my love Ted" with an ink drawing of a fox on the half-title, Faber and Faber, [1962]
Lot 356
HUGHES (TED) AND THOMAS GUNN
Selected Poems, FIRST EDITION, PRESENTATION COPY FROM TED HUGHES TO SYLVIA PLATH, INSCRIBED "To darling Sylvia on the 10th of May, 1962. all my love Ted" with an ink drawing of a fox on the half-title, Faber and Faber, [1962]
Sold for £ 5,250 (US$ 6,705) inc. premium

Lot Details
The Property of Frieda Hughes
HUGHES (TED) AND THOMAS GUNN
Selected Poems, FIRST EDITION, PRESENTATION COPY FROM TED HUGHES TO SYLVIA PLATH, INSCRIBED "To darling Sylvia on the 10th of May, 1962. all my love Ted" with an ink drawing of a fox on the half-title, publisher's wrappers, a few small creases [Sagar/Tabor A5], 8vo, Faber and Faber, [1962]

Footnotes

  • PRESENTATION COPY WITH THE INSCRIPTION "TO DARLING SYLVIA... ALL MY LOVE TED" SET WITHIN AN INK SKETCH OF A FOX. The inscription is dated 10 May 1962, eight days prior to the official publication date. Faber published this selection (chosen by the poets themselves) to showcase "the best work of the Young Turks of English poetry" (Jonathan Bate, Ted Hughes, 2015, p.179). Described by Plath as Hughes' "poet-twin", Thom Gunn had published his second volume of poetry (The Sense of Movement) in 1957, the same year as Hughes' The Hawk in the Rain. Faber championed them as "two young writers whose work is likely to be of permanent and major importance".

    Hughes's loving inscription was written when the couple were living together in Devon, and received visits from from fellow writers Ruth Fainlight and Alan Sillitoe, as well as David Wevill and his wife Assia. The fine drawing of a fox is surely a reference to Hughes' celebrated poem 'The Thought Fox' which had appeared in his first collection (and is the second poem in this selection), and "has a special place among Ted Hughes's early poems... It is at least partly a poem about writing poetry – one might say about poetic inspiration... [and Hughes] wrote that he composed it after writing nothing for a year. So we might see the fox as representing the renewal of the poet's imaginative powers" (Neil Roberts, article on British Library website).
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