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My Second Home: Sylvia Plath in Paris, 1956 (Dave Haslam)


Sylvia Plath was in Paris during Easter 1956, alone in a hotel near
Notre Dame. She’d grown to love the city after spending Christmas there
with Richard Sassoon and she’d hoped he‘d be with her for Easter too,
but he hadn’t answered her letters. She’d met Ted Hughes a month
earlier; Ted was also in her head, and within ten weeks they’d be

In the fourth book in his Art Decades series, Dave Haslam describes

this key period in Sylvia Plath’s life. We discover how she filled

those Paris days, including having dinner with an Italian communist,

instigating drunken afternoon sex with a friend of a friend, sketching in

the park, and lying on her yellow bed in an attic room listening to the

sound of the Paris rain as she considered decisions and future plans:

in her phrase, ‘the fatal dance’ of choices and alternatives.

My Second Home by Dave Haslam

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