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Book Review: Ted Hughes, The Unauthorised Life by Jonathan Bate

By Sameer Rahim   January 2016

Ted Hughes the unauthorised lifeWilliam Collins, £30

Few poets’ lives have been as dramatically harrowing as that of Ted Hughes. His wife Sylvia Plath’s suicide in 1963 was followed six years later by the copycat suicide of the woman he had left her for, Assia Wevill, who also killed their daughter. To some feminists, Hughes embodied the patriarchal poet who silenced women’s voices. His accusers did not grasp Hughes’s anguish, though he did not help his case when he admitted to burning the last volume of Plath’s diaries. Only when he was…

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