“You would have said this was a very happy and enduring relationship, with both of them giving the highest respect and support to each other’s work.”

Collection of Sylvia Plath’s possessions to be sold at auction – Maev Kennedy – Guardian – 1/23/18

“The scruffiest book in the sale is one of the most touching, an extremely battered copy of the Shorter Oxford dictionary. Plath and Hughes bought it as a Christmas present to themselves in 1956, and inscribed it with their names, the date of their marriage, and the birth dates of Frieda – at 6am, it notes – and Nicholas, in 1960 and 1962.

“’The core of the collection is the words and the work,’ said Luke Batterham, a senior books specialist at Bonhams, who has been working through every page of the collection before the sale. ‘Where another couple would have inscribed these dates in a family Bible, they used their dictionary; it was the millions of words it contained which were the most important thing for them.’”

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