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Sylvia Plath was certainly certifiable, but scenes from her marriage show a woman pushed to the brink. Don’t bother going to Gwyneth Paltrow’s sanitized biopic looking for clues to Plath’s undoing; turn instead to Diane Middlebrook’s Her Husband: Hughes and Plath—A Marriage. Middlebrook culled her portrait of Ted Hughes and his relationship with Plath from his personal papers as well as the writing of both poets. Readers get tidbits of Plath’s fiery reactions to Hughes’ obvious philandering, including this sentiment, recorded after watching him with a 16-year-old neighbor who was returning records: “For some time I seriously considered smashing our old & ridiculous box victrola with an axe. Then this need passed, & I grew a little wiser.” At least temporarily, anyway. According to Middlebrook, Plath did eventually let her head rule over her heart. Faced with the prospect of legal separation, Plath maintained: “If I am divorced, he can never be unfaithful to me again.” Middlebrook reads at 7:30 p.m. at the Folger Shakespeare Library, 201 East Capitol St. SE. $10. (202) 544-7077. (Tricia Olszewski)