Ted Hughes is one of the greatest English poets of this century, yet his life was dogged by tragedy and controversy. His marriage to the American poet Sylvia Plath marked his whole life and he never entirely recovered from her suicide in 1963, though he chose to remain silent on the subject for more than 30 years. Many people, including his friend Al Alvarez, have held Hughes's adultery responsible for Plath's death. Elaine Feinstein first met Hughes in 1969, and she was a good friend of his and his sister Olwyn's, both of whom guarded the Plath estate. She knows many of the European and America poets who so influenced Hughes - Seamus Heaney, Thom Gunn, Miroslav Holub, and knows the world in which both he and Plath moved.
Elaine Feinstein is a prize-winning poet, novelist and biographer. She was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 1980 and her work has been translated into many languages. She is the author of highly praised lives of Pushkin and Ted Hughes.