Ted Hughes' life enshrouded in more mystery after estate blocks biographer from quoting late poet’s private documents ‘out of the blue’
Jonathan Bate began working on the book in 2010 using private archives and documents, but has now been barred from them
The much debated life of Ted Hughes, one of Britain’s greatest poets, has been enshrouded in yet more mystery after his estate stopped cooperating with his latest biographer, Jonathan Bate, seemingly ‘out of the blue’.
The Shakespearian scholar began working on the book in 2010 using private archives and documents, but has now been barred from consulting them and asked to return any photocopies.
He also no longer has the right to quote large parts of the poet’s work.
The decision of the Hughes estate, Bate said, came “completely out of the blue”, though they were growing more and more impatient to see the progress of the book.
“The estate was insistent I should write a 'literary life', not a 'biography', and wanted to see more sample chapters, in order to ensure I was only writing about life-events that impinged upon the literary life,” Bate said.
However, just days before he was scheduled to send over 100,000 words draft, the estate withdrew his permission to quote from the archive, which was bought by the British Library from his widow, Carol Hughes, for £500,000 in 2008.
“I have discovered some things that surprised even Carol and Olwyn, Ted's sister, so there may be more surprises to come,” said Bate.
So far, his research has revealed a number of unpublished poems, as well as some evidence that Hughes started working on his classic anthology Birthday Letters almost immediately after his lover Sylvia Plath’s death.
He and Plath endured a tumultuous relationship since they wed in 1956. Plath famously took her own life in 1963 aged just 30, and Hughes went on to marry Carol Orchard in 1970.
Hughes had come under fire for burning Plath’s last journal. He had said at the time that he decided to destroy it because he didn’t want his children to read it. He is also thought to have lost another of her journals, as well as an unfinished novel.
Read More: Ted Hughes And The Myth In The Making
- 1 Sofyen Belamouadden murder: The inside story of a crime that horrified Britain
- 3 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove
Rupert Murdoch berated Sun journalists for not doing enough to attack Ed Miliband and stop him winning the general election
£50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: HR Manager Shared Services - Uxbridge, Stock...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join one of...
£18000 - £20000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Assistant (Events busi...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This privately-owned company designs and manuf...