Ted Hughes: The Unauthorised Life

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Like many admirers of Sylvia Plath’s works, I didn’t take much time to read any poetry or stories by her husband, Ted Hughes. In articles and film, he had been painted as the one who destroyed Plath. It is tragic that he believed it as well. The truth is that he did stray from the marital bed, leaving Plath to care for their young children alone, but it is also true that long before she ever met Hughes, Plath had demons of her own.

This volume encourages me to read the works of Hughes; great poems, plays and children’s books. His poetry is beautiful. After all, he was Poet Laureate of England. |That being said, that his wife, mistress and son all committed suicide leads one to believe that Hughes was so charismatic that those nearest to him could not live without him in their lives. It is a truism that poetry and tragedy are closely related. One only has to look at the lives of Byron, Keats and Pound to know that great poetry doesn’t always follow a stable lifetime.

The author has been criticized for delving into Hughes’ private life. It would argue that the private life is critical to an understanding of Hughes’ works, particularly The Birthday Letters. Judge for yourself, but do get to know him by his writing.


Reviewed By:

Author Jonathan Bate
Star Count 5/5
Format Hard
Page Count 662 pages
Publisher Harper
Publish Date 2015-Oct-13
ISBN 9780062362438
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue February 2016
Category Biographies & Memoirs
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