In the February 2018 issue of The New Criterion I wrote that

Plath did not just love her brother Warren, as she reiterates in these letters, she impressed upon him how both of them were part of a family enterprise that their mother had established. This eighteenth-century sense of fealty is quite astounding and not quite like anything else you can read in the lives of modern American writers.

I called Volume I of Plath’s letters Pamela redux, after the Samuel Richardson novel, since it seemed to Plath that her virtue had been rewarded, that a marriage to Ted Hughes fulfilled all of her aspirations. She had held out for a hero commensurate with her high ambitions, and a man, she believed, committed to creating a large family. She wanted at least four...


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