Information about Art, Antiques and Auctions in Ireland and around the world
  • About Des
  • Contact


    A series of unpublished handwritten poems by Ted Hughes, written the in aftermath of the suicide of his partner Assia Wevill and their daughter Shura in 1969 – just six years after the suicide of his first wife Sylvia Plath – come up at Sotheby’s  Books, Manuscripts and Music from Medieval to Modern sale open for bidding until July 19. Estimated at £10,000- 15,000 they offer an insight into the overwhelming grief and loss that Hughes experienced. Wevill and Hughes began an affair in 1962 and this was one of the causes of the breakdown of his marriage to the American poet Sylvia Plath in the summer of that year. Following Plath’s suicide their relationship continued but was plagued with troubles, from money to Hughes’ lack of commitment. Wevill suffered from depression and in a terrible parallel with Plath’s death, gassed herself in her London flat in March 1969. The four pages of verse are written – sometimes illegibly – in ink, and are clearly early drafts, unintended for publication. Their fragmentary and incomplete structure suggests that Hughes found the subject too painful and abandoned the works. They are extensively revised and the beginning and endings of the poems are not always clear.

    The sale includes an inscribed copy of Plath’s first collection, The Colossus and Other Poems (£20,000- 30,000) gven by Plath to her husband and childhood items of Plath’s from a lock of hair as a toddler to her stamp collection.

    UPDATE: THE unpublished manuscript poems made £12,600, The Colossus and Other Poems by Sylvia Plath made £94,500.

    Comments are closed.