“Her blacks crackle and drag”
The Mortimer Rare Book Room of Smith College in Massachusetts houses the college's rare books and literary manuscripts. Broad in scope, it includes works from all time periods and in subject areas as diverse ancient history and zoology. Among the highlights of the collections are the papers of Sylvia Plath and Virginia Woolf.
It’s been long rumored that the Rare Book Room, where Plath studied, had a secret copy of the “Double Exposure” typescript under seal.
Plath’s mother, Aurelia, also claimed that her daughter had sent her the book, while Plath’s husband accused Aurelia (after Aurelia was safely dead) of stealing it:
“Her mother said she saw a whole novel, but I never knew about it. What I was aware of was sixty, seventy pages which Olwyn and I disappeared rather conveniently with the Journals. And to tell you the truth, I always assumed her mother kept the typescript in secret for later revenge.”
Recently, the Mortimer Rare Book Room has released some of the long awaited book typescript excerpts to the New Yorker, the New York Times and Rolling Stone—resulting in a wave of shock and awe on both sides of the Atlantic.
Farber & Farber has already announced that it now owns the British rights for “Double Exposure” publication. Although the New Statesman and the Guardian question the authenticity of the newly revealed Plath novel, the Queen has already taken back the Order of Merit from the late Ted Hughes, estranged husband of Sylvia Plath the poet and novelist.
Rumors are also spreading like the Plague from Big Ben to the Tower of London that Ted Hughes’ name has also been removed from the esteemed list of British Poet Laureates, leaving the present Poet Laureate, Carol Anne Duffy, sputtering and aghast at these latest scandalous literary developments.
Excerpts from Double Exposure:
“It was a dark and stormy night and Ted Hughes was pacing back and forth in the library, while lightening and thunder rattled the windows and shook the mansion all the way to the wine-cellar.
My husband was stalking up and down the room trying to ease the fever of his soul by talking out the everlasting dilemma which had descended on him—how to hide the faults of himself without doing black injustice to his sister, Olwyn Hughes, and the rather lucrative money-making family Plath Estate.
The death of Sylvia Plath had turned into a virtual Yorkshire cottage industry for the Hughes clan, providing a nice tidy income for Olwyn Hughes, the ever vigilant Executor of the Estate, as well as for Ted Hughes with the sale of his books and then his library and complete manuscripts to Emory University in the humid, rotting Deep South Swamps of Georgia.
But now that Pot of Gold had turned into a Dastardly Niggardly Nightmare. Thanks to Olwyn and the nefarious Plath Estate, Ted now had to contend with and suppress the Truth without adding even more to the Mountain of Lies.”