Rare Copy of “The Bell Jar” Up for Auction

Bonhams / Bonhams

A rare uncorrected proof of Sylvia Plath’s only novel, The Bell Jar, is going up for sale next month in London. The auction house Bonhams is selling the 1962 manuscript, originally published under the psuedonym Victoria Lucas. 

This copy of Plath’s semi-autobiographical book features several variations from the published versions, including an instance where the novel’s main character’s name is Miss Lucas, rather than Esther Greenwood, as it is in the published version. About 70 variations in the text differ from the final version of the novel.

The proof currently belongs to a woman in England who bought it for a class decades ago, not realizing it was one of only a few such copies of The Bell Jar in the world. Plath died only a month after the book’s original publication in 1963. 

The copy’s estimated worth: $3100 to $4600. Get your piece of literary history here

[h/t: Los Angeles Times]