august 1953
Unseen Sylvia Plath letters claim domestic abuse by Ted Hughes
Unpublished correspondence from the poet to her former therapist records allegation of beating and says that he told her he wished she was dead
By Danuta Kean

“Sylvia Plath alleged Ted Hughes beat her two days before she miscarried their second child and that Hughes wanted her dead, unpublished letters reveal. The two accusations are among explosive claims in unseen correspondence written in the bitter aftermath of one of literature’s most famous and destructive marriages.

Written between 18 February 1960 and 4 February 1963, a week before her death, the letters cover a period in Plath’s life that has remained elusive to readers and scholars alike. While the American writer, who was living in England during that time, was a prolific letter writer and had kept detailed journals since the age of 11, after her death Hughes said his wife’s journals from this time were lost, including the last volume, which he said he destroyed to protect their children, Frieda and Nicholas.

Sent to Dr Ruth Barnhouse – the model for Dr Nolan in Plath’s autobiographical novel The Bell Jar, who treated the writer in the US after her first documented attempt to kill herself in August 1953 – the correspondence is understood to be one of Plath’s only surviving uncensored accounts of her last months, in which she produced some of her most famous poetry, including the collection Ariel.”


NYC E8 4049 by Chuck Zeiler
Via Flickr:
New York Central Railraod E8’s at Englewood in Chicago, Illinois on March 14, 1965, Ektachrome by Chuck Zeiler. Number 4049 was built in January 1952 ( c/n 15308 ) on EMD Order 6291, later became PC 4049, then Amtrak 265, sold for scrap in June 1979. Number 4083 was built in August 1953 ( c/n 18541 ) on EMD Order 2055 became PC 4083, later PC 4326, then NJTR 4326. Number 4064 was built in June 1953 ( c/n 18522 ) on EMD Order 2055 and became PC 4064. Number 4092 was built in September 1953 ( c/n 18550 ) on EMD Order 2055 and became PC 4092. Number 4072 was built in June 1953 ( c/n 18530 ) on EMD Order 2055 and became PC 4072.


American composer James Horner (born August 14, 1953) was killed in a plane crash earlier this Monday at the age of 61. Horner - who became one of the leading film score composers of his generation - developed an interest in composition early in life, with his studies taking him to the Royal Academy of Music in London and the University of Southern California (USC) in Los Angeles to study. Subsequent work with the American Film Institute (AFI) propelled him to highly prominent jobs in Hollywood at a young age. Horner would be nominated for ten Academy Awards, winning twice for Titanic’s original score and for Best Original Song for “My Heart Will Go On”.

Nine of the many films he worked on follow. Excerpts from each film score can be heard if you click on the link (left-right, descending):

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982) - directed by Nicholas Meyer; starring William Shatner, Ricardo Montalbán, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, James Doohan, George Takei, Nichelle Nichols, Walter Koenig, and Kirstie Alley

An American Tail (1986) - directed and co-produced by Don Bluth; starring the voices of Cathianne Blore, Dom DeLuise, John Finnegan, Phillip Glasser, Amy Green, Madeline Kahn, and Christopher Plummer

Willow (1988) - directed by Ron Howard; starring Val Kilmer, Joanna Whalley, and Warwick Davis

The Land Before Time (1988) - directed and co-produced by Don Bluth; starring the voices of Gabriel Damon, Candace Huston, Judith Barsi, and Will Ryan

Glory (1989) - directed by Edward Zwick; starring Matthew Broderick, Denzel Washington, Cary Elwes, Morgan Freeman, Cary Elwes, Cliff De Young, Andre Braugher, and Jihmi Kennedy

The Rocketeer (1991) - directed by Joe Johnston; starring Billy Campbell, Jennifer Connelly, Alan Arkin, and Timothy Dalton

Legends of the Fall (1994) - directed and co-produced by Edward Zwick; starring Brad Pitt, Anthony Hopkins, Aidan Quinn, Julia Ormond, and Henry Thomas

Apollo 13 (1995) - directed by Ron Howard; starring Tom Hanks, Kevin Bacon, Bill Paxton, Gary Sinise, and Ed Harris

Titanic (1997) - directed, co-produced, and written by James Cameron; starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Billy Zane, Kathy Bates, Frances Fisher, Bernard Hill, Jonathan Hyde, Danny Nucci, David Warner, Bill Paxton, and Gloria Stuart

Other scores of interest: Krull (1983), Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984), Cocoon (1985), Aliens (1986), Field of Dreams (1989), Braveheart (1995), Jumanji (1995), The Missing (2003), The Legend of Zorro (2005), and Avatar (2009).