TED HUGHES: An Unauthorised Life

TED HUGHES: An Unauthorised Life

JONATHAN BATE    Book Number: 83983    Product format: Hardback

"Sylvia Plath's death was the central fact of Ted Hughes's life." In this frank biography, the renowned Shakespeare scholar Jonathan Bate brings to a great 20th century poet the sympathetic biographical reconstruction for which he is known, combined with a gift for probing textual analysis. Some of the most valuable evidence comes from letters to Ted's sister Olwyn, for instance when he describes the surge of creativity he experienced when his wife Sylvia was in hospital, and Ted himself, unlike his rival Philip Larkin, provided masses of documentation to help future researchers to elucidate his work and life. When Sylvia took her own life by gassing herself, Ted was in bed with another woman, Susan Alliston, and the guilt was not expunged until the publication late in Hughes's life of his verse sequence Birthday Letters. Hughes's long-term lover Assia Wevill also took her life by similar means, though unlike Plath's existential crisis, described in her autobiographical novel The Bell Jar, Wevill was simply overwhelmed by fear as she started losing the beauty that had smoothed her path in life. Unlike Plath's highly personalised approach to writing, Hughes cultivated a poetry of archetypes and myths, influenced by T.S. Eliot's insistence on the impersonality of art. His final project was a translation of Euripides' Alcestis, a play in which a beloved wife returns from the grave. Bate also covers a lightly fictionalised novel about Hughes, Poison by Susan Schaeffer, and Hughes's landmark collaboration with Peter Brook on Seneca's Oedipus with Gielgud in the title role. 662pp, colour photos. SIGNED BY THE AUTHOR.
Published price: £30
Bibliophile price: £5.00

Additional product information

ISBN 9780008118228
Browse these categories as well: Last Chance to buy!, Signed by the Author, Biography/Autobiography

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