View full screen - View 1 of Lot 13. Sylvia Plath | Typed letter signed, to Ted Hughes, "we will burn love to death all our long lives", 10 October 1956.
13

Sylvia Plath | Typed letter signed, to Ted Hughes, "we will burn love to death all our long lives", 10 October 1956

Margin Scheme

Estimate:

8,000

to
- 12,000 GBP

Sylvia Plath | Typed letter signed, to Ted Hughes, "we will burn love to death all our long lives", 10 October 1956

Sylvia Plath | Typed letter signed, to Ted Hughes, "we will burn love to death all our long lives", 10 October 1956

Estimate:

8,000

to
- 12,000 GBP

Lot sold:

30,240

GBP

Sylvia Plath


Typed letter signed, to Ted Hughes


on her passionate love for him ("...I can't believe any body ever loved like this; nobody will again. We will burn love to death all our long lives..."), her self-belief as a writer ("...someday, I will be a rather damn good woman writer..."), and her loathing of her fellow students ("...I held my hand over my mouth and froze; I could very horribly hear myself screaming at all the prim scholarly little British bitches, knocking over desks, and strangling as many as I could get my hands on..."), scattered autograph corrections and three-line autograph postscript, 6 pages, 8vo (177 x 140mm), Whitstead, Newnham College, Cambridge, 10 October 1956, creased, dust-staining to third page, rust-marks from paperclip


"...Teddy, I feel I'm walking in my grave cerements. My flesh is colder than wet sod. Do you know that you have the most delicious quirked lovely mouth and your eyes crink up and you are all warm and smooth and elegantly muscled and long-striding and my god I go mad when I let myself think of you; the thinking assaults me and I either cry or pound my head, or go out on a long blind wild walk or pretend you are there and talk out loud to you at night before bed I kneel on the couch in the pitch black and throw all my force and love in the direction, as nearly as I can discern, or your bed in Yorkshire..."


This letter begins with the news that Plath has gained permission to leave Cambridge for London for the weekend on the pretence of a reunion with a female friend (she has discovered herself to be a good liar). The thought of a reunion with Hughes strains her patience with her degree and life in Cambridge: in a grotesquely funny passage she admits to desiring to attack one of her tutors, a "fat vampirish monster", and cut her open to see if she bleeds "onion juice or what". Daily life is banal, although the beauty of Cambridge brings some consolation. She continues her plans for their writing careers, listing their recent submissions and praising his latest draft of a poem and plots for stories. Reading the latest New Yorker fills her with belief in her own talent:


"...If I live 'in-myself' this way, all the quirks and queer musings in my head can bear fruit, without being blurred and blunted by constant prosaic contacts with exterior people; this year will set me deeper than ever in the dark secret well of my own fancies, dreams and visions; living with you will save me from being suffocated with no outlet (except these interminable letters, please forgive their length & tediums) as I am now..."



LITERATURE:

The Letters of Sylvia Plath: Volume One, pp.1294-99

creased, dust-staining to third page, rust-marks from paperclip


Condition 11 of the Conditions of Business for Buyers (Online Only) is not applicable to this lot.


The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colors and shades which are different to the lot's actual color and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation. The condition report is a statement of opinion only. For that reason, the condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS ONLINE CONDITION REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE/BUSINESS APPLICABLE TO THE RESPECTIVE SALE.