Hughes met Plath in 1956 at a party while both were attending Cambridge - they married four months later. Hughes had two children with Plath - Frieda and Nicholas. In 1961, Hughes began an affair with another woman, Assia Wevill, and Plath and Hughes separated in 1962. After Plath died of suicide in February 1963, Hughes became the executor of her literary estate.
Hughes went on to marry Assia Wevill after Plath's suicide, but Assia also died of suicide in 1969. He went on to marry another woman, Carol Orchard, who he was with until his death.
Because his infidelity and Sylvia Plath's downward spiral into depression occurred around the same time (and probably had some overlap, as well), fans of Plath aren't often fans of Hughes. There's also some controversy over how he handled her personal effects (in particular her journals) and manuscripts.
It's easy to forget when you read about his personal life that Hughes was and is a widely regarded and critically acclaimed English poet, playwright, and translator.
- The Hawk in The Rain (1957)
- The Iron Man (1968) which was the inspiration for The Iron Giant.
- Crow: From the Life and the Songs of the Crow (1970)
- Moontown (1970)
- Wolfwatching (1989)
- Tales from Ovid (1997)
- Birthday Letters (1998)
Tropes in Hughes's works include:
- Biography: Birthday Letters is the story of Plath and Hughes's relationship.