A collection of love letters that explore the passion of the American poet Sylvia Plath by her British husband and also a poet, Ted Hughes, will be auctioned at Sotheby’s, as well as the couple’s wedding rings, family recipes and photo albums.
Plath, whose chilling poems turned the demons of his trauma into some of the most disturbing lines of modern English, committed suicide in 1963 at age 30 by putting his head in a gas oven. Her young children were sleeping in the apartment, but she had sealed off their rooms and they survived unharmed.
Plath and Hughes were married in 1956, and their relationship was as tumultuous as it was passionate. Her letters to her husband show the agony of separation from Hughes while she was studying at Cambridge.
“My flesh is colder than a damp clod of earth,” Plath wrote. “Did you know that you have the most adorably delicious and eccentric mouth and that your eyes curl and that you’re all warm, soft, elegantly muscled, with a long walk and my God, I freak when I let myself think about you.”
The cards will be sold at Sotheby’s between the 9th and 21st of July. The sale consists of 55 lots and comes directly from the collection of Sylvia’s daughter Frieda Hughes.
The auction also includes the deck of tarot cards given by Hughes to Plath for her birthday and an ink portrait drawn by Plath during the couple’s honeymoon in Benidorm. Hughes died in 1998.
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