These Ghostly Archives: The Unearthing of Sylvia Plath

Author(s): Gail Crowther and Peter K. Steinberg 

ISBN: 9781781555941
$18.00 $25.00
These Ghostly Archives shows the reciprocal haunting nature of both Sylvia Plath and her archives.

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  • The authors discuss Sylvia Plath archival discoveries in unique ways, unearthing previously unknown materials and bringing new context to well-known works

  • New essays on the sociological notion of ‘haunting’ in the archive

  • Innovative approaches to distance/international collaboration in archival scholarship

  • Introduces new ways of understanding Sylvia Plath

  • Plath’s The Bell Jar is to be released in 2018 as a major film starring Dakota Fanning and directed by Kirsten Dunst

These Ghostly Archives: The Unearthing of Sylvia Plath offers a ground-breaking look at Plath studies. Focusing on previously unpublished material found in archives from around the world, These Ghostly Archives aims to reconstruct the ghostly figure of Plath within our culture via unseen letters, manuscripts, photographs, places and poems. This book approaches archival studies exploring both the practical and experiential work carried out in the archive, highlighting the ‘detective’-type work that it involves and the traces left behind from history.

However, for the first time, this work also combines the sociological notion of ‘haunting’ - that is, the archive as a location where researchers haunt the research subject and in turn are haunted by the traces left behind. Never is material culture more powerful than when associated with the dead; never is the archive ghostlier when haunted by the absent presence of Plath.

This book showcases the necessity to leave no archival box or folder left unopened, and how the researcher and the archive can change even though its documents might stay the same.

BOOK ISBN 9781781555941
FORMAT 234 x 156 mm
BINDING Paperback
PAGES 208 pages
ILLUSTRATIONS 32 colour photographs



Gail Crowther was awarded her PhD from Lancaster University in 2010 for her thesis The Haunted Reader and Sylvia Plath. She has lectured in Sociology at Lancaster University and Social Science for the Open University. Her current research interests include archival studies and feminist life writing.

Peter K. Steinberg is the co-editor of The Letters of Sylvia Plath (Faber) and the author of Sylvia Plath, a 2004 biography published by Chelsea House, as well as articles and introductions to works by and about Sylvia Plath.