59 Years of Book Covers for The Bell Jar from All Over the World
Happy Birthday to Sylvia Plath’s Classic
On January 14, 1963, poet Sylvia Plath published her first novel in England under the pseudonym “Victoria Lucas.” The book had a positive but relatively quiet reception; only a few weeks after its publication, on February 11, Plath would die by suicide. It wasn’t published in the US until 1971, when it became an instant best seller; since then it has been translated into many languages and published all over the world. 59 years after its original publication, it is still a touchstone of international literary culture—not least, for better or worse, as a reliable shorthand for angsty-but-highbrow teenage emotions.
To mark the book’s 59th birthday, here are 59 of its best, weirdest, and most unusual covers—for even more, check out the databases on A celebration, this is and the extensive editions listed on Goodreads, which were both very helpful research tools.