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The Green Beauty Guide
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Your Own, Sylvia
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Related sponsored items Feedback on our suggestions - Related sponsored items. Sign in. Feedback Recent updates Help. Popular titles Check these out! See all. Back to main collection Sign in. Recent updates. Sign in Cancel. Add a card. But I didn't read it until she was dead. Which was quite dreadful. If I'd known her history I would have been much more wary of what might happen to her.
And she said: 'Thank God you're there. I think from her letter to me she was beginning to find her feet in London, and to be a success. But in the last two or three days of her life, Ted's story Difficulties Of a Bridegroom was broadcast on the radio. All his friends would have heard it, and it was dreadful because he described driving to London and running over a hare … Well, Ted had always described her as being like a hare — as mystical and strange, a creature aligned with the moon.
And in this play her runs over a hare, takes it to a butcher gets the money and buys some roses for his mistress … It's dreadful to think that she heard it. That would have really, really hit her … she thought that somehow she was safe so long as Assia was — as she described her in her poetry — a woman with a marble womb where no fish swims.
She wanted to have that safety, that she was the only one with children. And she had flu, and the weather was dreadful … and it was just all too much.
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I didn't know about that of course; until it was published I didn't see any of it. It was so awful to read - the moon … her hood of bone - awful poems, desperate poems. It was terrible to read them; I still find it hard. I find it hard to relive that time and to talk about her, too.
But it's got to be done. Sigmund Elizabeth is convinced that Plath would not have wanted The Bell Jar to be published under her own name while her mother was still alive. She also feels that Olwyn Hughes, the sister of Ted who became Plath's literary agent and executor after her death, caused the dedication to be taken out of the first Faber edition so she Sigmund wouldn't be able to speak to the press about the name change.
And of course she'd always said that she never wanted it to be published under her own name because it would hurt so many people, including her mother. You know, from a very dear friend. And that I couldn't understand why such a reputable firm had done it. And Charles Monteith [the longstanding chairman of Faber] then wrote to me and said that he was really sorry — they didn't notice this.
I don't believe they didn't notice it, because it was directly opposite chapter one.
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Couldn't miss it. I can only think that Ted and Olwyn wanted them to cut it out because they didn't want anyone who knew Sylvia to have any contact with the press … And the press would have got onto that quickly. She wrote to me about it, saying that Faber were 'probably trying to save a sheet of paper'. But when I put this to Charles Monteith he wrote back and said:.
But he doesn't explain how they came to cut the dedication out. Because it was a brilliant book, one is glad that it was credited to her. But also, you have to regard her wishes. If she said that so definitely: that she didn't want to hurt people's feelings, by having it published under her own name … I certainly think that Ted and Olwyn should have mentioned that — because Ted certainly knew. And then Faber would have had to make up their minds. But for Monteith to say that he'd certainly never heard that — it just seems that they were keeping it from Faber.
I hardly dare say. She said that Olwyn was absolutely obsessed with Ted. When they were first married she used to go and bang on their door early in the morning and say: 'You ought to be taking care of your guest. I haven't even had a cup of tea. Sylvia was voicing her opinion about something and Olwyn got up and said: 'You're not the daughter in this family, I am and I wish you'd shut up.
She was appointed as the agent for Ted and for Sylvia. He said: 'It doesn't fall to many men to murder a genius,' and gave me the book. But he was referring to her poetry more than The Bell Jar, I think.