Bad Romance: History’s Ill-Fated Literary Couples

Sylvia Plath and Edward James “Ted” Hughes

Sylvia and Ted met at the issue launch party for St. Botolph’s Review; she was studying on a Fulbright at Cambridge and he was writing poems for the short-lived publication. The pair were married on Bloomsday in 1956, at an Anglican church in Camden. Seven years later, the very unstable Sylvia killed herself, after discovering that Ted was having an affair with Assia Wevill (who also killed herself via oven fumes, in a copycat suicide a few years later). In a poem about Sylvia that was published in the late 1990s, Ted writes, “I did not know/I had made and fitted a door/ Opening downwards into your Daddy’s grave.”