Monday, July 19, 2010

Diane Wood Middlebrook's Her Husband: Ted Hughes & Sylvia Plath - A Marriage

Direct to you from my review:

Someone on Amazon said that Middlebrook shies away from talking about the dissolution of the Plath/Hughes marriage as to seem impartial. I don't agree, really. I think that, yes, she was being impartial, but I felt she addressed the subject objectively and at length. 

While there were certainly things that made me bristle, I actually think Middlebrook did a good job explaining how both Plath and Hughes could be difficult, could be brilliant and passionate and how neither of them were entirely at fault, but both of them were at fault. I think the parts that bothered me were more about my feelings for Sylvia than at the facts and ideas as they were written - and while I have never fully blamed Ted Hughes for her demise (as I know some people do) nor fully not blamed him (hey, he was a walking contradiction and he did do some despicable things - but yes, I know, so did she), I actually became even more compassionate toward him in the reading of this. All in all, it plunged me back into my old obsession and amazement at Plath's genius and my wonder at the creative symbiosis of the early part of their marriage.

Louise Tripp grew up in North Carolina. She currently lives in Chicago, where she is revising her first YA novel and working in a public library. You can read her regular blog at


  1. I am obsessed and amazed at Plath's genius too! I don't know a lot about Ted Hughes or all that happened with them but I'm with you about how it might have been like at the beginning of their relationship, creatively speaking. This will go on my TBR list and thanks for bringing it to my attention.

    I nominated your very cool blog for the OMB award! I like what you've done here!

  2. Thank you! It's so great when we actually get feedback! I checked out your blog, too - very nice! Can I add it to our sidebar links?