The first biography since his death of one of the greatest English poets of the twentieth century. Although Ted Hughes's genius was recognized early and he ended his days as England's Poet Laureate, his life was dogged by tragedy and controversy. His marriage to the poet Sylvia Plath marked his whole life, and he never entirely recovered from her suicide in 1963. Many people have held his adultery responsible for Plath's death; in this insightful book, Elaine Feinstein explores an altogether more complex situation, and throws a sad new light on his relationship with his lover Assia Wevill, who also killed herself along with their young daughter. Drawing on extensive archival material and interviews with childhood friends, fellow undergraduates, poets, and critics, Feinstein gives a portrait of a large-spirited, magnetic personality intrigued by the forms of magical experience that preoccupied Shakespeare and Yeats, but who was nevertheless a down-to-earth Yorkshire man, whose poetic vision encompassed not only his love of the natural world but also all the evidence of human brutality in the past century. 16 pages of b/w photographs.
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Elaine Feinstein, prize-winning poet, novelist, and fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, has written biographies of D. H. Lawrence, Marina Tsvetayeva, and Alexander Pushkin. She lives in London.
Ted Hughes: The Life of a Poet by E. Feinstein
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