Whenever, as happens quite frequently, the work or story of Ted Hughes or Sylvia Plath generates some stir such as this, I am reminded of the days during my teens when I dated a girl called Jane. Jane sometimes had a schoolfriend staying with her, Frieda. Sylvia and Ted's daughter.
Frieda briefly dated one of my friends, and we would all gather at the Seahorse in Shalford to drink together on Saturday nights. All we did was to get drunk and goof around, just as teenagers are prone to do. I, already sinking into the depression that blighted much of my early life, was largely oblivious to much that was going on, and certainly to Frieda who played down her famous parents to the point of non-acknowledgement.
It was only much later, when Jane and I were long broken up, that I became aware of the very public history surrounding Frieda and her family. Frieda herself remains a very distant memory to me – I can barely recall what she looked like – and perhaps that is all to the good. What pressures must lie on her having such famous parents, and ones with fiercely partisan adherents.
All of this escaped me, I am glad to say in retrospect, but the incident has a power in its once inherent and now lost potential.