Sylvia Plath's Bell Jar proof edition to make up to $4,500?

A rare proof edition of Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar is to auction at Bonhams London on June 24 with a valuation of £2,000-3,000 ($3,053-4,580).

The lot displays a number of textual deviations from the published work, offering an incredible insight into the way the book developed during the editing phase.

Sylvia Plath Bell
A student bought this edition of Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar in 1985 - Plath's only novel

Matthew Haley of Bonhams told the Guardian: "These are very rare. I hadn't seen one until we sold one in 2013 for £5,000. There aren't many around - I'd say in the dozens rather than in the hundreds."

The consignor bought the book from a second hand bookshop in 1985. She told the publication: "I remember buying it, but not how much it cost.

"It can't have been much, because I never had any money as a student. I asked the chap in the shop what the 'not for sale' note meant on the front as I was slightly anxious I might be buying something a bit dodgy.

"Anyway, I took it to lectures throughout that term, used it for essays and so on, and treated it just like all my other books, except that I never wrote my name in it."

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