A 50-Year Visual History of Sylvia Plath's 'The Bell Jar'

By Emily Temple

Since its first publication in 1963, Plath's only novel has been embraced by audiences worldwide.

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Great John Cale Productions
Musicians Playing in the Snow
Inspiring Coming-Out Speeches


This week 50 years ago, the first edition of The Bell Jar was published in England under the pseudonym Victoria Lucas. It didn't make it to the United States until 1971, because Aurelia Plath was embarrassed by what her daughter had to say about her family. But make it to the States (as well as many other countries) it did, and in the last half century years, Sylvia Plath's one and only novel has become a cult favorite, a classroom staple, and a source of inspiration and solace for thousands of young people. To celebrate the book's 50th anniversary, and with the help of excellent Plath resource A celebration, this is, I've taken a look at the many changes the cover has gone through over the years—some beautiful, some strange, and some that make readers think about it the story in a whole new way.

This post also appears on Flavorpill, an Atlantic partner site.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2013/01/a-50-year-visual-history-of-sylvia-plaths-the-bell-jar/267227/