British novelist, essayist, and critic A. Alvarez lectured on his friend, the American poet, novelist and short story writer Sylvia Plath in Josselyn House.  Alvarez’s The Shaping Spirit: Studies in Modern English and American Poets (1958) was an influential and formative study, and the first section of his The Savage God: A Study of Suicide (1972) is about Plath, who took her own life in 1963.  The book, he wrote, “begins with a memoir of Sylvia Plath, not simply as a tribute to her since I think she was one of the most gifted writers of our time, but also as a matter of emphasis… so that whatever theories or abstractions follow can somehow be rooted in the human particular.  … I have tried to chart the shifts and confusions of feeling which led up to Sylvia’s death as I understand them, and as objectively as I am able.”     A. Alvarez, The Savage God: A Study of Suicides