(Thank you Jay for sending me this.)
If you’ve read this blog for a while, or are familiar with older posts, I am fascinated by Sylvia Plath, and the academic areas of study surrounding her.Therefore, I felt incredibly lucky to have been sent this to review. (I’ve interviewed one of the authors-Gail-which you can read by clicking here.)
Some of Plath’s greatest poetry-those of the notorious Ariel-were written whilst living in Devon,from September 1961 to December 1962.Plath whilst there had to undergo several things-her marriage breaking up, the birth of a child, and decorating her new home. Whilst there, events were put into motion, impacting the poetry. She’d also finished the Bell Jar.
Elizabeth Sigmund recalls how she met Sylvia, and their subsequent friendship; that’s what I think is truly remarkable about the book. One of Plath’s friends goes on record-instead of just being silent. It paints a better picture of her, one that’s far more balanced. The scholarly tone is also incredibly articulate; something that I always look for in a tome.
Gail is also a great scholar-and I found myself reminiscing about the email interview. So many things seemed anew-something that I hadn’t known before; for example, if she had lived, it may have been possible that Sylvia may have become a politically active women. As someone studying that, it was simply refreshing to hear: in an era when that was a little unconventional at the time. The biography was my favorite part of the book.
And the pictures, the pictures..instead of a usual biography having them at specific chapter points, they are interspersed throughout. It also almost ignores Plath, with pictures of the external reality that inspired her poetry-such ass statues, her home. That’s what fascinates me about this book, and why I know that I’ll be re-reading this book for a while.
I’d have only have improved the book by just being a little more snappy in style..