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.
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - carl.rollyson - LibraryThing
Assia Wevill is the dark lady of the Plath/Hughes agon. As Yehuda Koren and Eilat Negev put it in "Lover of Unreason" (Carroll & Graf, 268 pages, $27.95), "Assia was reduced to the role of a she-devil ... Read full review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - startingover - LibraryThing
With the lurid subtitle 'Assia Wevill, Sylvia Plath's rival and Ted Hughes' doomed love', you might find yourself wanting to give this biography a wide berth. After all, how much do we really need to ... Read full review