Her Husband

  • by Diane Middlebrook
  • Narrated by Bernadette Dunne
  • 10 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Ted Hughes married Sylvia Plath in 1956, at the outset of their brilliant careers. Plath's suicide six-and-a-half years later, for which many held Hughes accountable, changed his life, his closest relationships, his standing in the literary world, and brought new significance to his poetry. Middlebrook presents a portrait of Hughes as a man, as a poet, and as a husband haunted, and nourished, his entire life by the aftermath of his first marriage. How marriages fail and how men fail in marriages is one of the book's central themes.


What the Critics Say

"Middlebrook's [book] is sure to be the gold standard. Astutely reasoned, fluidly written, and developed with psychological acuity, the work is a sympathetically balanced assessment of two lives that flamed brightly with the incandescent fire of creative genius." (Publishers Weekly)
"The most balanced, most literary and interpretatively astute, and best-written analysis yet of the saga of Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes." (Booklist)
"Sympathetic but resolutely unsentimental....intelligent, sensitive, at times harrowing." (Joyce Carol Oates, Washington Post Book World)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Tragedy is a good formula.

This is a good book, well-presented and structured in general and with occasional flashes of true insight into this tragic story. My criticisms are minimal: In terms of the audio format one is the mispronunciation of French words by the narrator which I felt was easily avoidable and therefore inexcusable. Another the fact that the chapters seem to be made up of titled paragraphs. The narrator reads these titles immediately after the end of the previous paragraph with a long pause after the title instead of a short pause on either side. This can be somewhat disconcerting. In terms of the writing itself: Middlebrook has chosen to present an analytical account in more or less choronolgical order, with frequent references to previous and future events that are relevant. This makes the book a little jumpy and disjointed and results in a sometimes repetitive narrative. While it is possible to skip re-used passages when reading one is forced to suffer through them when listening. Also, the author would do well to educate herself on the difference between England and Great Britain; Ted Hughes was the Poet Laureate of the latter and not the former. Aside from a certain coldness to the intensely human story she is telling, Middlebrook does a superb job. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in the Plath and Hughes drama; though I do not know how satisfying brief quotes in the text would be to someone who had not read Plath's journals and poetry already. The story itself cannot be anything but fascinating.
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- Rhiannon


absorbing analysis of the Plath/Hughes relationship. even a casual Plath fan will be pleased. well done.
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- Bernadette

Book Details

  • Release Date: 03-19-2004
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.