A Lover of Unreason : The Life and Tragic Death of Assia Wevill, Hardback

A Lover of Unreason : The Life and Tragic Death of Assia Wevill Hardback

4.5 out of 5 (2 ratings)


'Assia was my true wife, and the best friend I ever had', wrote Ted Hughes, after his lover surrendered her life and that of their young daughter in 1969, six years after Sylvia Plath had suffered a similiar fate.

Diva, she-devil, enchantress, muse, Lillith, Jezebel - Assia inspired many epithets during her life.

The tragic story of Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes has always been related from one of two points of view: hers or his.

Missing for over four decades had been a third: that of Hughes's mistress.

This first biography of Assia Wevill views afresh the Plath-Hughes relationship and at the same time, recounts the journey that shaped her life.

Wevill's is a complex story, formed as it is by the pull of often contrary forces.


  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 320 pages, 2 x 8 page illustrations
  • Publisher: Pavilion Books
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Biography: literary
  • ISBN: 9781861059741



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Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.

Review by

I find <i>A lover of unreason: The life and tragic death of Assia Wevill, Ted Hughes' doomed love</i> completely irresistible and very well researched and written. Those of us lucky enough to be at the Plath Symposium in 2002 at Indiana were teased with some of the information presented in the biography. Shock and awe spread throughout the auditorium when Koren and Negev spoke about the Plath/Hughes trip to Ireland, the deception, and the Hughes/Wevill trip to Spain. That was barely the tip of the iceberg in this very complicated situation.The success of A Lover of Unreason in my opinion comes from presenting a very full and human picture of Assia; a woman who has been alternately ignored and raked over coals and not given sufficient attention. Here is a woman who was far, far from perfect and revered only for her uncommon and undeniable beauty, presented in a way that reminded me much of how Plath was presented in Bitter Fame. I was not expecting a book of idolatry, but I also was not expecting to find that Wevill did have some redeemable qualities. This is truly an enlightening read and brings an important piece of the Plath/Hughes puzzle closer to completion.Assia's journals, according to the text, are in private hands. They shed some very crucial information into not just her own mind and life, but also into Plath's and Hughes?. I would not mind being introduced to those private hands! I wonder if there are any plans to publish them or to deposit them with an archive?

Review by

Very readable biography of Assia Wevill, Ted Hughes' lover. Her life was interesting, if tragic- and it adds another facet to the Ted Hughes/Sylvia Plath story.

Also by Yehuda Koren