Satur­day Sylvia Plath: Life Inside The Bell Jar 9pm, BBC Two

The Herald on Sunday - Sunday Herald Life - - Television & Radio -

FEA­TUR­ING a new in­ter­view with Sylvia Plath’s daugh­ter, Frieda Hughes, and boast­ing Maggie Gyl­len­haal among the cast of read­ers, this strik­ingly filmed doc­u­men­tary sets out to ex­plore Plath’s fa­mous semi-au­to­bi­o­graph­i­cal novel while plac­ing it, and the writer, against the wider con­text of the mores, the gen­der pol­i­tics and the attitudes to men­tal health of the early 1950s. Frieda Hughes talks about her mother in de­tail for the first time on cam­era, along­side con­tri­bu­tions from other peo­ple who knew Plath, many of who are sim­i­larly dis­cussing her with un­prece­dented can­dour here. Around the in­ter­views come im­pres­sion­is­tic re­con­struc­tions, along with read­ings from un­pub­lished let­ters, rare pho­to­graphs and a wealth of pe­riod archive footage evok­ing the sum­mer of 1953, and the cre­ation of a novel that – by ex­plod­ing the myth that women were con­tent and life was sweet – would touch count­less read­ers.

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