Cover Collection: The Bell Jar

1. Faber and Faber // 2. Faber and Faber // 3. HarperCollins Modern Classics

4. HarperCollins // 5. HarperCollins Perennial Classics // 6. Faber Firsts

I mentioned in my previous post that I have a small obsession with Sylvia Plath and that on February 11 it will be 50 years since she died. It is also 50 years since The Bell Jar was first published in England under the name ‘Victoria Lucas’. Plath used a pseudonym in order to protect her mother from being hurt – the book is very autobiographical and the main character’s mother is not portrayed in a flattering light.

 I own a copy of #4, but I think I like #6 the best. Which cover do you like? Have you read The Bell Jar?

Here are some recent articles published about Sylvia Plath and The Bell Jar:

A new cover of The Bell Jar is criticized (thanks Miss Bibliophile!).

A review of two new Plath biographies.

An interview with Plath’s sister-in-law and literary executor, Olwyn Hughes.

Have a great week! Spring is on its way…

19 comments / Add your comment below

  1. hhmmm….I think I would pick #5. I have read the Bell Jar and I LOVE Sylvia Plath too. She was amazing and so tragic. I always think if only she had a better husband………. alas!

    1. Old Ted wasn’t a saint, but I don’t think he was entirely to blame. However, he did abandon her at a vulnerable time in her life and that is pretty gross.

  2. I’ve yet to read any Plath, one day. Glad spring is on it’s way for you, still feels a long way away over here.

    1. I wish you all could come over and enjoy our weather! February and March are the best time of the year in Phoenix. The weather is darn near perfect. I hope it comes soon for you.

  3. I like number three and number six. And yes I read The Bell Jar many years ago and will never forget it. What a book! I also enjoyed the movie with Gwyneth Paltrow that came out a few years ago. Glad you are feeling some spring weather. So are we here in Los Angeles.

  4. I own number 1, but I must confess that I don’t really like any of the covers. To be this is a book that needs an abstract artwork, or beautiful plain bindings.

  5. I like #6 the best too. And interesting to see the other side of the anniversary cover debate in the link from Katrina’s comment.

  6. My cover’s different – sort of a Warholish take on SP in profile, and very purple. I loved it – so much more nuanced than modern reworkings like Prozac Nation.

  7. When I read The Bell Jar I borrowed a copy from the library which was cover #1, that in hindsight I rather liked. The close up of the face works quite well as the book is a close up look into a young woman’s inner turmoil. I agree though I also really like #6 really captures the time period.

  8. 3 and 4 are my favourites. I’m not keen on the ones with faces and I quite like the atmosphere of 3. Otherwise 4 would be my choice because I love the colours. I haven’t read it yet, though recently I’ve been looking through the copies in stores.

Thank you for reading and commenting.

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