Mad Girl's Love Song
Sylvia Plath and Life Before Ted
After Plath's suicide in February 1963, Hughes became Plath's literary executor, the guardian of her writings, and, in effect responsible for how she was perceived. But Hughes did not think much of Plath's prose writing, viewing it as a 'waste product' of her 'false self', and his determination to market her later poetry - poetry written after she had begun her relationship with him - as the crowning glory of her career, has meant that her other earlier work has been marginalised.
Before she met Ted, Plath had lived a complex, creative and disturbing life. Her father had died when she was only eight, she had gone out with literally hundreds of men, had been unofficially engaged, had tried to commit suicide and had written over 200 poems. Mad Girl's Love Song will trace through these early years the sources of her mental instabilities and will examine how a range of personal, economic and societal factors - the real disquieting muses - conspired against her.
Drawing on exclusive interviews with friends and lovers who have never spoken openly about Plath before and using previously unavailable archives and papers, this is the first book to focus on the early life of the twentieth century's most popular and enduring female poet. Mad Girl's Love Song reclaims Sylvia Plath from the tangle of emotions associated with her relationship with Ted Hughes and reveals the origins of her unsettled and unsettling voice, a voice that, fifty years after her dea
Read an Excerpt
On February 25, 1956, twenty-three-year-old Sylvia Plath stepped into a roomful of people and immediately spotted what she later described in her diary as a “big, dark, hunky boy.” She asked her companions if anyone knew the name of this young man but she received no answer. The party was in full swing and the free-form rhythms of the jazz—the “syncopated... see more
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