"Ted Hughes married Sylvia Plath in 1956, at the outset of their brilliant careers. Plath's suicide six and a half years later, for which many held Hughes accountable, changed his life, his closest relationships, his standing in the literary world, and brought new significance to his poetry." "In this new biography of their marriage, Diane Middlebrook presents a portrait of Hughes as a man, as a poet, and as a husband haunted - and nourished - his entire life by the aftermath of his first marriage. How marriages fail and how men fail in marriages is one of the book's central themes." "Drawing on a trove of newly available papers, Middlebrook presents Hughes as a complicated, conflicted figure: sexually magnetic, fiercely ambitious, immensely caring, and shrewd in business. She argues that Plath's suicide, though it devastated Hughes and made him vulnerable to the savage attacks of Plath's growing readership, ultimately gave him his true subject - re-creating himself for posterity through his marriage to Sylvia Plath and his struggles within his own historical circumstances."--BOOK JACKET.