The King's Henchman

New York: Harper & Brothers, 1927.


First edition. Half cloth, with paper boards, some wear to the tanned spine label, else a very good or better copy, housed in a custom cloth clamshell case. Sylvia Plath's copy, inscribed to her by her mother, Aurelia Plath: "To my imaginative, artistic Sylvia," and with the poet's bookplate, Signed and dated by her in 1950. Plath's bookplate and signature were presumably added when she left for Smith College, in that same year. The significance of this association lies not only in Millay's work -- although Plath considered her a poet and writer of the first rank -- but also as an example of literary offerings made to Sylvia by her mother as a means of emotional and psychological bonding. Using figures like Millay, Aurelia Plath shaped her daughter's reading; but more importantly she shared in it, as a co-partner of sorts: "between Sylvia and me" wrote Aurelia, "there existed... a sort of psychic osmosis." Sylvia concurred in "Poem for a Birthday," writing "Mother, you are the one mouth / I would be a tongue to." Millay, whom they often read together (a particular touchstone for Sylvia was Millay's 1917 poem "Renascence"), was, beyond her formative poetic interest, a central figure in forging links between the thwarted literary ambitions of Aurelia Plath, and those of her "imaginative, artistic Sylvia."

Item #349221

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The King's Henchman. Sylvia PLATH, Edna St. Vincent MILLAY.

Edna St. Vincent Millay
birth name: Edna St. Vincent Millay
born: 2/22/1892
died: 10/19/1950
nationality: USA

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American poet and dramatist who came to personify romantic rebellion and bravado in the 1920s. - Merriam-Webster's Encyclopedia of Literaturemore