A Lover of Unreason: The Life and Tragic Death of Assia Wevill
'Assia was my true wife, and the best friend I ever had' wrote a heartbroken Ted Hughes, after Assia Wevill had surrendered her life and that of their four-year-old daughter to the fumes from the gas oven in her London flat, in March 1969--just six years after Sylvia Plath had suffered a similar fate. Diva, she-devil, enchantress, muse: the exquisitely beautiful Assia Wevill inspired or provoked many epithets in the course of three marriages and in pursuit of a destiny that took her from pre-war Berlin to Palestine during the British mandate and then to London in the swinging 'sixties. In the end, none would prove to be more fitting than the epithet--and epitaph--she chose for herself: 'Here lies a lover of unreason and and exile'. The story of the ultimately tragic failure in the marriage between Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes--twentieth-century poetry's most celebrated couple--has always been related from one of two conflicting points of view: hers or his. Missing for more than four decades has been a third, equally relevant and no less fascinating perspective: that of Ted Hughes's mistress, Assia Wevill. A lover of unreason, the first biography of Assia Wevill, views afresh the Plath-Hughes marriage with a keen, revisionary eye, and at the same time, recounts the journey that shaped her life. Hers is a complex story, formed as it is by the pull of often contrary forces: fatal attraction and obsessive love, fidelity and adultery, cruelty and tenderness, dependence and rebellion, envy and self-sacrifice. Koren and Negev researched Assia Wevill's life for over fifteen years, unearthing a mass of personal documents, including her diaries and letters, and interviewed all the key witnesses, most of them speaking here for the first time. Their book is authoritative and compelling.--Book jacket.