PLATH (SYLVIA) JONES (JUDITH B.) Typed letter signed ("Judith Jones"), to Sylvia Plath, regretting that Plath "must be feeling terribly neglected", New York, 30 August 1962; together with 3 copies of reviews for Colossus, and photocopies of 2 rejection letters for The Bell Jar, one from Jones at Knopf, the other from Elizabeth Lawrence at Harper & Row (small quantity)
Lot 357
PLATH (SYLVIA)
JONES (JUDITH B.) Typed letter signed ("Judith Jones"), to Sylvia Plath, regretting that Plath "must be feeling terribly neglected", New York, 30 August 1962; together with 3 copies of reviews for Colossus, and photocopies of 2 rejection letters for The Bell Jar, one from Jones at Knopf, the other from Elizabeth Lawrence at Harper & Row (small quantity)
Sold for £ 2,750 (US$ 3,512) inc. premium

Lot Details
The Property of Frieda Hughes
[PLATH (SYLVIA)]
JONES (JUDITH B.) Typed letter signed ("Judith Jones"), to Sylvia Plath, regretting that Plath "must be feeling terribly neglected", but that she had held off writing earlier in the hope of enclosing more reviews for Plath's Colossus which had sadly been unforthcoming, lambasting "self-involved" poets who "can't even respond to a complimentary pre-publication copy of a first collection as good as yours", but enclosing [present with this lot] the rather negative note of reply from Marianne Moore, before expanding on reasons that more reviews had not yet appeared in the "little magazines", before ending that she is "very anxious to hear about how you're coming along with your novel. Wasn't September supposed to be your target date?", 2 pages (one on Knopf headed paper), 3 small corrections in ink, 4to, New York, 30 August 1962; together with 3 copies of reviews for Colossus, and photocopies of 2 rejection letters for The Bell Jar, one from Jones at Knopf, the other from Elizabeth Lawrence at Harper & Row (small quantity)

Footnotes

  • Alfred A. Knopf published the first American edition of The Colossus on 14 May 1962, their chief editor Judith Jones having corresponded with Plath on reducing the number of poems included to forty from the fifty in the English edition. In her letter, written three months after publication, Jones enclosed a copy of Marianne Moore's negative pre-publication assessment, regretting that the author concentrates on "what is bitter, frost-bitten, burnt out, averse". At the time of writing this letter Knopf were interested in publishing Plath's as yet untitled novel The Bell Jar, prompting Jones to ask about its progress. They subsequently rejected it, Jones herself writing to Plath that "I was not at all prepared as a reader to accept the extent of her illness and the suicide attempt".
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