1. Hughes, T. ‘Sylvia Plath and her Journals’, Winter Pollen, p.187.

2. Winter Pollen, p.188.

3. Kukil, K. (ed.) The Journals of Sylvia Plath, 26 February 1956, p.212.

4. Rákóczi, B. The Painted Caravan, pp.63-4.

5. Egyptologist Wallis Budge writes that the ‘House’ was interpreted as being the night sky but may be a temple or abode. This Goddess is also known as Nebt–Heb (Lady of the body). Budge, The Gods of the Egyptians, Vol.2, Dover Publications, N.Y. 1969, pp.254-60.

6. Budge, W. The Gods of the Egyptians, Vol 2. p.258.

7. Isis is better known as Osiris’s wife but she was both his wife and his sister. Nephthys was sister to Isis and Osiris, and sister and wife of Seth.

8. Budge, W. The Gods of the Egyptians, Vol 2, p.255.

9. Kukil, K. (ed.), The Journals of Sylvia Plath, 10 March 1956, p.234.

10. Hughes, F. Foreword to Ariel: The Restored Edition, p.xvi.

11. Ted Hughes describes these brothers’ mill–products in his poem ‘Sacrifice’, Keegan, P.(ed.) Ted Hughes Collected Poems, Faber, 2003, pp.758-60.

12. In a letter to János Csokits, Ted Hughes described Walter Farrar as “My uncle – the patriarch of my family and one of my dearest friends”. Reid, C.(ed.) Letters of Ted Hughes, May 1976, p.376.

13. Plath’s journal notes for ‘All the Dead Dears’, which was later published in Johnny Panic and the Bible of Dreams (Faber , 1979, p.177-84.), include “central tragic figure – Uncle W”. Kukil, K.(ed.) The Journals of Sylvia Plath, 31[a] 1956, p.580.

14. Irwin, L. Gnostic Tarot, Samuel Weiser Inc, 1998, p.320.

15. Rákóczi, B. The Painted Caravan, p.64.

16. Isis, Nephthys and Osiris were all born of Light (Shu) and Air (Tefnut), Earth (Geb) and Sky(Nut), all of which were created by and from the Sun–God, Ra. Osiris, however, came to be regarded, and worshipped, as the dark brother of Ra. He was in charge of the Underworld, as Ra was in charge of the Upper world. As Osiris’s brother, Ra became uncle to Isis and Nephthys.

17. Ted Hughes: Collected Poems, p.19.

18. Quoted by John Hopkins, Tuesday March 23, in the on–line Sylvia Plath Forum, March 1999. The reading can be heard on YouTube in ‘Sylvia Plath reads from Ariel (2)’.

19. Hughes, F. Foreword to Ariel: The Restored Edition, p.xii.

20. Irwin, L. Gnostic Tarot, pp.326-7.

21. Eliot, T.S. Four Quartets, Faber, 1972, p.15.

22. Rákóczi, B. The Painted Caravan, p.67.

23. Sylvia Plath: Collected Poems, Faber, 1981, p.195.

24. An alternative title for this poem before publication was ‘The Courage of Quietness’.

25. Crowley, A. The Book of Thoth, Weiser, Maine, 1985, p.118.

26. Ted Hughes: Collected Poems, p.440.

27. Irwin, L. Gnostic Tarot, p.330.

28. Rákóczi, B. The Painted Caravan, p.8. Such vows of secrecy are common in Western mystical tradition; and the maxim often adopted by the Magus (the Master) is “To Know, to Will, to Dare, and to be Silent”. This maxim was first recorded in Transcendental Magic by Eliphas Levi (1810-1975), whose extensive study of mysticism and magic was certainly known to Ted Hughes.

29. Hughes, T. ‘Sylvia Plath and Her Journals’, Winter Pollen, p.189.

30. Hughes, T. ‘Publishing Sylvia Plath’, Winter Pollen, p.167.

31. I am grateful to Karen Kukil, Associate Curator of Special Collections, William Allan Neilson Library, Smith College, Northampton, MA, for providing me with a draft of her finding aid for the Sylvia Plath Collection. My information about the Ariel holographs and typescripts is drawn from this draft.

32. ‘Magi’ and ‘Morning Song’ (though not a complete run of manuscripts/typescripts) are held by the Lilly Library, as is ‘Barren Woman’ under an earlier title, ‘Small Hours’. ‘Tulips’ is held by Harvard. Plath sent the worksheets for ‘Tulips’ to Jack Sweeney on 22 August 1961; and the other three poems were part of the ‘scrap paper’ Plath sold to Indiana University through a London bookseller in November 1961. (Thanks to Peter Steinberg for this information).

32. ‘Words’, Sylvia Plath: Collected Poems, p.270.

33. Hughes, T. ‘Sylvia Plath: Ariel’, Winter Pollen, p.162.

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