Frieda Hughes, daughter of Sylvia Plath (1932-63) and Ted Hughes (1930-98), has consigned the collection for sale at Bonhams on March 21.
Bonhams’ senior book specialist, Luke Batterham describes the collection as, “a riveting insight into the warmth and mutual support of the Hughes-Plath creative relationship”.
The group of works includes Plath’s uncorrected proof copy of The Bell Jar, with her 70 or so manuscript corrections, including spellings and the addition of words. She signed the book with the address of the family home in Devon: Sylvia Plath Court Green North Tawton Devonshire. It is estimated at £50,000-70,000.
The Bell Jar was Plath’s only novel, published under the pseudonym Victoria Lucas in January 1963, two months before her suicide. Her personal copy of the first edition is estimated at £60,000-80,000. It is inscribed and dated Sylvia Plath 23 Fitzroy Road London NW1 Christmas 1962 – a reference to the fact that Plath and her two children, Frieda and Nicholas, had left Devon following her split from Hughes.
Plath's final typewriter, a Hermes 3000 purchased in Boston in 1959 that she used to write The Bell Jar in 1961 is also included in the sale estimated at £40,000-60,000.
Batterham also highlights “a tender and important pen and ink drawing of Hughes by Plath drawn shortly after their marriage while the couple were on honeymoon in Spain”. In October 1956, Plath wrote to her mother about this series of sketches saying, "every drawing has in my mind and heart a beautiful association of our sitting together in the hot sun, Ted reading, writing poems, or just talking with me... the sketches are very important to me...". The portrait is estimated at £20,000-30,000.