Her Novels Make Mine Possible
The Influence of Virginia Woolf on Sylvia Plath

Image: book spread

Virginia Woolf. A Writer's Diary.

London: Hogarth Press, 1953. Presented by Frances Hooper '14.
After opening to the final pages of Virginia Woolf's A Writer's Diary, Sylvia Plath admired Woolf's synthesis of writing, rejection, and domesticity. She quickly flashed back to her reading of Mrs. Dalloway during her junior year of high school with Wilbury Crockett and To the Lighthouse in her sophomore year at Smith College in Elizabeth Drew's course on twentieth-century literature. Plath had been thinking of writing a novel for a year. In her diary, Plath recounts her purchase of "a battery" of Woolf's novels at the Cambridge bookstore, Bowes and Bowes. The "battery"probably comprised eight Uniform Hogarth Press editions of Woolf, now housed in the Mortimer Rare Book Room. Plath wrote "Hughes Cambridge 1957"bon the inside cover of several of her Woolf volumes and annotated all but A Room of One's Own, The Voyage Out, and Between the Acts.

Image: 2 pages

Sylvia Plath. Cambridge Diary: typescript, 25 February 1957.

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Sylvia Plath Collection
Mortimer Rare Book Room, Smith College

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