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Ted Hughes

The Unauthorised Life

Ted Hughes by Jonathan Bate
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The authoritative biography on that most fascinating of poets, Ted Hughes.

Described by Andrew Motion as, alongside Larkin, 'one of the two great poets of the last half of the last century', Ted Hughes towers among figures of recent world literature. A creative force of rare power and grace, Hughes's poetry engages with the mythical and natural worlds to reflect on the strength, vulnerability and beauty of being.

With the time ripe for posterity to see further into Hughes's works, Jonathan Bate's rich and compelling biography examines those 'places of high wonder' of which Hughes wrote as a teenager, and brings new depth and understanding to this most charismatic and fascinating of poets: his life, his poetry and of course, his relationships - most famously with iconic American poet Sylvia Plath, his wife, who committed suicide in 1963, and Assia Wevill, the woman he left Plath for, who herself committed suicide in 1969.

"Bate has written, capaciously, arrestingly, a kind of tragedy...often veers close to the poet's singular perspective...He reminds us Ted Hughes was a marvelous poet: firstly, then fitfully, and then in a blaze near the end, and that the greatness in the work draws power from sources deeper than myth." - Glyn Maxwell, New York Times Book Review

"Magisterially respectful of Hughes...An uncompromising biographer [who] hasn't been swayed by interested parties...In Hughes's life, with its echoes of Greek tragedy, Bate finds grist for a new perspective on his work." - Christopher Benfey, The Atlantic

"An incisive, humane and deeply absorbing account of Hughes's life and work." - New York Times

" of the very best biographies in years." - Joyce Carol Oates

"A masterly biography." - San Francisco Chronicle

"Jonathan Bate is a dazzling scholar, and in TED HUGHES he sheds new light on the poet and his times...Mr. Bate embodies...the touchstone of good biography: the complete sympathy of complete detachment." - Sara Wheeler, in "The Best Biographies of 2015," Wall Street Journal

4th Estate; October 2015
672 pages; ISBN 9781460703618
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Title: Ted Hughes
Author: Jonathan Bate
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