Poetry News

A Visual History of Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar

By Harriet Staff


In celebration of the 50th anniversary of Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar, Flavorwire has compiled a collection of the book's diverse covers through the years. We're drawn to the sparsity of the 1963 Heinemann First Edition, with its ghostly imagery and bright-pink block lettering; as well as the romance novel–esque cover of the 1972 Bantam Books Edition.

We love the fact that this collection includes covers from editions published outside the United States, including the 1975 Finnish Edition, which features an ominous red-eyed crow caught in a tangle of black lines suggestive of bare branches or cracked glass. The undated Turkish Edition might be our favorite, because the face on the cover reminds us just a little bit of singer Grace Jones. In contrast, with its image of precisely sculpted hedges framing a garden path absent any people, the 1993 edition from the Quality Paperback Book Club is restrained and somewhat prim.

You can peruse the complete selection of covers and find a new or old favorite on Flavorwire. Image at top is the 50th-anniversary edition, Faber and Faber, 2013.


Originally Published: January 14th, 2013