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Plath's Reading Notes

Plath reading notes (small)

Sylvia Plath. Notes on Literature of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries (English 211), 1951-1952.

During her sophomore year at Smith College, Sylvia Plath studied twentieth-century literature with Elizabeth Drew. Her notes from the class reveal a strong attraction to the passage in Virginia Woolf’s novel To the Lighthouse about the timeless eternity of the moment.


D. H. Lawrence. Sons and Lovers. New York: The Modern Library, 1913. From the library of Sylvia Plath.

Like Woolf, Sylvia Plath read Sons and Lovers and admired D. H. Lawrence’s writing. In the final chapter, Paul Morel falls into a depression after his mother dies. Plath underlines these passages and writes “Cf. July 1953” in the margin, probably a reference to her own depression recorded in the journal entry previously featured.

Plath reading notes 2 (small)
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Sylvia Plath Collection
Mortimer Rare Book Room, Smith College

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