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0120130211

Eight-year-old Sylvia suffers the loss of her father, Otto.

On 25 February 1956, 23 year-old Sylvia Plath walked into a party and immediately spotted Ted Hughes. This encounter - now one of the most famous in all literary history - was recorded by Plath in her journal, where she described Hughes as a 'big, dark, hunky boy'. The mythology of the Plath-Hughes relationship has arguably cast a long shadow over Plath's life and work.

In this new biography of Plath's early life, before the meeting with Hughes, Andrew Wilson considers the childhood and young womanhood of one of the twentieth century's most influential and loved poets. Before she met Hughes, Plath had lived a complex, creative and high-achieving life. Her father had died when she was only eight, she had watched her mother struggle to put her children through college, had dated a large number of men, had been unofficially engaged, had tried to commit suicide and had written over 200 poems.

Drawing on exclusive interviews with friends and lovers who have never spoken openly about Plath before, and using previously unavailable archives and papers, this new book traces the early literary and emotional development of the author of 'The Bell Jar' (this week's Radio 4 Book at Bedtime).

Read by Hayley Atwell

Sylvia Plath is read by Sasha Pick, Eddie Cohen by Ben Crowe, Richard Sassoon by Will Howard and Aurelia Plath by Hannah Woods

Abridged by Miranda Davies

Produced by Emma Harding

0220130212

Plath's charismatic high school teacher recognises her 'lyric gift'.

On 25 February 1956, 23 year-old Sylvia Plath walked into a party and immediately spotted Ted Hughes. This encounter - now one of the most famous in all literary history - was recorded by Plath in her journal, where she described Hughes as a 'big, dark, hunky boy'. The mythology of the Plath-Hughes relationship has arguably cast a long shadow over Plath's life and work.

In this new biography of Plath's early life, before the meeting with Hughes, Andrew Wilson considers the childhood and young womanhood of one of the twentieth century's most influential and loved poets. Before she met Hughes, Plath had lived a complex, creative and high-achieving life. Her father had died when she was only eight, she had watched her mother struggle to put her children through college, had dated a large number of men, had been unofficially engaged, had tried to commit suicide and had written over 200 poems.

Drawing on exclusive interviews with friends and lovers who have never spoken openly about Plath before, and using previously unavailable archives and papers, this new book traces the early literary and emotional development of the author of 'The Bell Jar' (this week's Radio 4 Book at Bedtime).

In today's episode, Plath is inspired by a charismatic high school teacher who recognises her 'lyric gift'.

Read by Hayley Atwell

Sylvia Plath is read by Sasha Pick, Eddie Cohen by Ben Crowe, Richard Sassoon by Will Howard and Aurelia Plath by Hannah Woods

Abridged by Miranda Davies

Produced by Emma Harding

0320130213

On 25 February 1956, 23 year-old Sylvia Plath walked into a party and immediately spotted Ted Hughes. This encounter was recorded by Plath in her journal and has fed into the mythology of the Plath-Hughes relationship, which has arguably cast a long shadow over Plath's life and work.In this new biography of Plath's early life, which considers the years before the meeting with Hughes, Andrew Wilson explores the childhood and young womanhood of one of the twentieth century's most influential and best-loved poets.

Plath's early years were complex, creative and high-achieving. Her father had died when she was only eight, she had watched her mother struggle to put her children through college, had dated a large number of men, had been unofficially engaged, had tried to commit suicide and had written over 200 poems.

Drawing on exclusive interviews with friends and lovers who have never spoken openly about Plath before, and using previously unavailable archives and papers, this new book traces the early literary and emotional development of the author of 'The Bell Jar' (this week's Radio 4 Book at Bedtime). In today's episode, Plath struggles with the sexual hypocrisy of 'fifties America.

Read by Hayley Atwell

Sylvia Plath is read by Sasha Pick, Eddie Cohen by Ben Crowe, Richard Sassoon by Will Howard and Aurelia Plath by Hannah Wood

Abridged by Miranda Davies

Produced by Emma Harding.

The early life of Sylvia Plath, as she struggles with the sexual hypocrisy of '50s America

On 25 February 1956, 23 year-old Sylvia Plath walked into a party and immediately spotted Ted Hughes. This encounter - now one of the most famous in all literary history - was recorded by Plath in her journal, where she described Hughes as a 'big, dark, hunky boy'. The mythology of the Plath-Hughes relationship has arguably cast a long shadow over Plath's life and work.

In this new biography of Plath's early life, before the meeting with Hughes, Andrew Wilson considers the childhood and young womanhood of one of the twentieth century's most influential and loved poets. Before she met Hughes, Plath had lived a complex, creative and high-achieving life. Her father had died when she was only eight, she had watched her mother struggle to put her children through college, had dated a large number of men, had been unofficially engaged, had tried to commit suicide and had written over 200 poems.

Drawing on exclusive interviews with friends and lovers who have never spoken openly about Plath before, and using previously unavailable archives and papers, this new book traces the early literary and emotional development of the author of 'The Bell Jar' (this week's Radio 4 Book at Bedtime).

In today's episode, Plath struggles with the sexual hypocrisy of 'fifties America.

Sylvia Plath is read by Sasha Pick, Eddie Cohen by Ben Crowe, Richard Sassoon by Will Howard and Aurelia Plath by Hannah Woods

0420130214

The early life of Sylvia Plath as she starts work at Mademoiselle magazine in New York.

On 25 February 1956, 23 year-old Sylvia Plath walked into a party and immediately spotted Ted Hughes. This encounter - now one of the most famous in all literary history - was recorded by Plath in her journal, where she described Hughes as a 'big, dark, hunky boy'. The mythology of the Plath-Hughes relationship has arguably cast a long shadow over Plath's life and work.

In this new biography of Plath's early life, before the meeting with Hughes, Andrew Wilson considers the childhood and young womanhood of one of the twentieth century's most influential and loved poets. Before she met Hughes, Plath had lived a complex, creative and high-achieving life. Her father had died when she was only eight, she had watched her mother struggle to put her children through college, had dated a large number of men, had been unofficially engaged, had tried to commit suicide and had written over 200 poems.

Drawing on exclusive interviews with friends and lovers who have never spoken openly about Plath before, and using previously unavailable archives and papers, this new book traces the early literary and emotional development of the author of 'The Bell Jar' (this week's Radio 4 Book at Bedtime).

In today's episode, Plath starts work at Mademoiselle magazine in New York.

Read by Hayley Atwell

Sylvia Plath is read by Sasha Pick, Eddie Cohen by Ben Crowe, Richard Sassoon by Will Howard and Aurelia Plath by Hannah Woods

Abridged by Miranda Davies

Produced by Emma Harding

05 LAST20130215

Sylvia Plath wins a Fulbright scholarship and starts at Cambridge University.

On 25 February 1956, 23 year-old Sylvia Plath walked into a party and immediately spotted Ted Hughes. This encounter was recorded by Plath in her journal and has fed into the mythology of the Plath-Hughes relationship, which has arguably cast a long shadow over Plath's life and work.

In this new biography of Plath's early life, which considers the years before the meeting with Hughes, Andrew Wilson explores the childhood and young womanhood of one of the twentieth century's most influential and best-loved poets.Plath's early years were complex, creative and high-achieving. Her father had died when she was only eight, she had watched her mother struggle to put her children through college, had dated a large number of men, had been unofficially engaged, had tried to commit suicide and had written over 200 poems.

Drawing on exclusive interviews with friends and lovers who have never spoken openly about Plath before, and using previously unavailable archives and papers, this new book traces the early literary and emotional development of the author of 'The Bell Jar' (this week's Radio 4 Book at Bedtime).In today's episode, Plath wins a Fulbright and starts at Cambridge.

Read by Hayley Atwell

Sylvia Plath is read by Sasha Pick, Eddie Cohen by Ben Crowe, Richard Sassoon by Will Howard and Aurelia Plath by Hannah Wood

Abridged by Miranda Davies

Produced by Emma Harding.