Sylvia Plath's love anguish published
Fifteen passionate love letters from Sylvia Plath to Ted Hughes are to be published for the first time, throwing new light on one of the most famous marriages of the 20th century.
Plath wrote the letters while studying at Cambridge, fresh from their honeymoon. They had been apart for a few days, a separation she described as "this huge whistling hole in my guts and heart".
In one intense passage, she wrote: "I think if anything ever happened to you, I would really kill myself."
The letters have been in the private collection of Frieda Hughes since her father's death in 1998, unknown even to Plath scholars. They are included in The Letters of Sylvia Plath, a collection of the writer's correspondence to be published this month. Over the course of three weeks in October 1956, Plath wrote daily to her "Dearest Teddy".
The couple had wed secretly and Plath worried the authorities would withdraw her Fulbright scholarship if they learnt she was married. Outpourings of love are mixed with domestic details of student life - trips to the launderette, tutorials, suppers of cream crackers and cheap wine. "I drank the last of the vinegary Chilean burgundy and I love you," she wrote of their first night apart.Plath also talked about their careers, encouraging Hughes and sharing the "wonderful and incredible" news that her poems were to be published. Her longing for him became almost unbearable, and the language foretold of darker times: "I am simply sick, physically sick, without you ... I am living in a kind of death-in-life."..