The Scottish Mail on Sunday

Daugh­ter’s anger over Plath let­ters brand­ing Ted Hughes a wife-beater

- By Peter Henn

THE daugh­ter of poets Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath has an­grily con­demned the re­lease of in­ti­mate let­ters that her mother wrote just be­fore her sui­cide.

In cor­re­spon­dence to her ther­a­pist, tor­mented Plath ac­cused Hughes of hav­ing an af­fair and of beat­ing her, just be­fore she mis­car­ried what would have been their sec­ond child.

The let­ters throw new light on one of the most fa­mous cou­ples in lit­er­a­ture, but in an ex­clu­sive in­ter­view in to­day’s Event magazine, their daugh­ter Frieda, says: ‘They should never have seen the light of day. Let­ters from a client to a ther­a­pist are sacro­sanct. I know when my mother wrote those let­ters she was go­ing through a hor­ri­ble time.’

Frieda ad­mits it was ‘a shock’ to learn from them that Poet Lau­re­ate Hughes wished his trou­bled wife dead, but added: ‘Most of us have writ­ten let­ters when we’ve been in pain, di­vorce, des­per­a­tion, death, what­ever. Have you ever wished some­one dead? Of­ten.’

Ms Hughes, now 57, was just two years old in 1963 when her mother gassed her­self in her North Lon­don flat. Lit­tle is known about her fi­nal months as Hughes con­tro­ver­sially burned her last jour­nals. The con­tents of Plath’s let­ters to ther­a­pist Dr Ruth Barn­house came to light ear­lier this year when they were of­fered for sale in New York.

 ??  ?? TROU­BLED: Plath with Frieda in 1962
TROU­BLED: Plath with Frieda in 1962
 ??  ?? LOVERS: Plath and Hughes in 1956, the year they mar­ried
LOVERS: Plath and Hughes in 1956, the year they mar­ried

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK