Ted Hughes' estate withdraws biographer's access

The contested life of one of Britain's best-loved poets has erupted into controversy once more, as the estate of Ted Hughes has stopped cooperating with his latest biographer, Shakespeare scholar Jonathan Bate, writes Richard Lea for the Guardian.

Bate, who began working on a biography of the former poet laureate in 2010, said he was surprised that the estate has barred him from private archives, asked that he return photocopies of privately held documents, and withdrawn his right to quote extensively from the poet's work - described by the professor as "an essential aspect of serious scholarship".

According to Bate, the decision to withdraw support came "completely out of the blue", although the estate was becoming "impatient" to see more of his work. Just days before Bate was due to send 100,000 words, the estate informed him that he was no longer able to quote from the Hughes archive, which was bought by the British Library from his widow, Carol Hughes, for GBP500,000 in 2008, but the estate retains copyright.
Full report on the Guardian site