[PW] The photo of Sylvia Plath that inspired Ted Hughes's poem "Fulbright scholars"

T.F. Mills phasco at earthlink.net
Wed Aug 16 11:37:27 PDT 2017

On 16 Aug 2017 at 16:43, Petter Naess wrote:

> I'm looking for the photo of a group of Fulbrighters, newly arrived in
> England in 1955, which Ted Hughes refers to in his poem "Fulbright Scholars
> <https://genius.com/Ted-hughes-fulbright-scholars-annotated>." The photo
> may not exist - it's a poem after all - 

Petter, I'm a little confused by your question.

> The particular mystery of the Fulbright Scholars photo has already been
> thoroughly researched by Peter K. Steinberg, owner of the
> sylviaplathinfo.blogspot.com blog, and he has documented his unsuccessful
> efforts here
> <http://sylviaplathinfo.blogspot.no/search?q=fulbright+scholars> (please,
> no need to duplicate them!)

I see there only a thorough search of the Evening Standard and theories about variant 
editions having or not having the photo.  Why only the Evening Standard?  Am I missing 

Secondly, when was Ted Hughes' poem first published?  In your question, I see only mention 
of its 1998 publication -- by which time it would certainly not have the impact of ca. 1955.

If the poem were published in the 1950s or early 1960s and could be linked to a photo of 
Sylvia Plath, there is a good chance this would have caught the attention of the Fulbrihgt 
Program and ended up in the Fulbright papers at the U of Arkansas:


There is an extensive unpublished finding aid, and staff might peruse if for you.

The International Institute of Education would probably also be interested in archiving such 
high profile evidence of the success of international education.  


Having worked a lot with their literature, I know the 1950s and 60s was full of photos of 
Fulbright scholars coming and going.  (I was myself frequently on ships with same, but 
unfortunately not on the QE in 1955 with Sylvia Plath.)

T.F. Mills 
(Colorado, USA)

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