Thursday, July 22, 2021

By Tom Horton, PA

A collection of letters and personal items belonging to Sylvia Plath – including passionate notes written to husband Ted Hughes – have been auctioned for £777,610 (€909, 780).

A total of 50 lots, which came from the collection of the American poet’s daughter Frieda Hughes, were sold by auction house Sotheby’s in London .

The collection included 16 letters from Plath to Hughes, which sold for a total of £309,200.

Wedding rings belonging to Hughes and Plath also sold for £27,720.

Sylvia Plath auction – Sotheby’s
Wedding rings belonging to Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes (Sotheby’s/PA)

A sketch Plath did of her husband went for £31,420.

Sotheby’s specialist Gabriel Heaton said: “In the lead-up to the sale, I found myself speaking with people from all around the world, whose appreciation for Sylvia Plath was clearly limitless.

“Their love of her work and fascination with her life was clearly manifest in yesterday’s results, which saw each of the items find new homes in which they will undoubtedly be treasured just as Frieda had hoped.”

The Bell Jar author Plath, who took her own life in 1963 aged 30, married British poet Hughes in 1956.

Their relationship was one of the most high-profile and turbulent in 20th century literature.

Hughes died aged 68 in 1998.

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