Ted Hughes (1930-1998) in 1993. Photo by Rob Lycett. Licensed under Creative Commons, courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

Ted Hughes
Born August 17 1930(1930-Template:MONTHNUMBER-17)
Mytholmroyd, West Riding of Yorkshire, England
Died October 28 1998(1998-Template:MONTHNUMBER-28) (age 68)
Occupation Poet
Nationality English
Spouse(s) Sylvia Plath (m. 1956-1963)
Carol Orchard (m. 1970-1998)
Domestic partner(s) Assia Wevill (1962-1969)
Children Frieda Hughes
Nicholas Hughes (deceased)
Alexandra (deceased)

Edward James "Ted" Hughes OM (17 August 1930 - 28 October 1998) was an English poet and children's writer. Critics routinely rank him as one of the best poets of his generation.[1] Hughes was British Poet Laureate from 1984 until his death.

Hughes was married to the American poet Sylvia Plath, from 1956 until her death[2] by suicide in 1963 at the age of 30. His part in the relationship became controversial to some feminists and (particularly) American admirers of Plath. His last poetic work, Birthday Letters (1998), explored their complex relationship. These poems make reference to Plath's suicide, but none of them addresses directly the circumstances of her death. A poem discovered in October 2010, Last letter, describes what happened during the three days leading up to Plath's suicide.[3]



File:Ted Hughes Birthplace.jpg

Hughes was born on 17 August 1930 at 1 Aspinal Street, in Mytholmroyd, West Yorkshire to William Henry and Edith (née Farrar) Hughes[4] and raised among the local farms of the Calder valley and on the Pennine moorland. Hughes' sister Olwyn was two years his senior and his brother Gerald was elder than him by ten years.[5] Their father, William Hughes, was a carpenter, one of just 17 men of a regiment to return from the Dardanelles Campaign (1915-6). The stories of Flanders fields filled Hughes' childhood imagination (later described in the poem "Out"). [6] Hughes noted, "my first six years shaped everything."[7] When Hughes was seven his family moved to Mexborough, South Yorkshire, where they ran a newsagent's and tobacconist's shop. [5] In Poetry in Making he recalled that he was fascinated by animals, collecting and drawing toy lead creatures. He acted as retriever when his elder brother gamekeeper shot magpies, owls, rats and curlews, growing up surrounded by the harsh realities of working farms in the valleys and on the moors.[6]

Hughes attended Mexborough Grammar School, where a succession of teachers encouraged him to write, developing his interest in poetry, the last being John Fisher. [8] Poet Harold Massingham also attended this school and was also mentored by Fisher. In 1946 one of Hughes' early poems, "Wild West" and a short story were published in the grammar school magazine The Don and Dearne, followed by further poems in 1948.[5]During the same year Hughes won an open exhibition in English at Pembroke College, Cambridge, but chose to do his National Service first.[9] His two years of National Service (1949-51) passed comparatively easily. Hughes was stationed as a ground wireless mechanic in the RAF on an isolated three-man station in east Yorkshire, a time during which he had nothing to do but "read and reread Shakespeare and watch the grass grow".[5]

Career Edit

In 1951, Hughes initially studied English at Pembroke College under M. J. C. Hodhart, an authority on balladic forms. Hughes felt encouraged and supported by Hodhart's supervision but attended few lectures and wrote no more poetry at this time, feeling stifled by literary academia.[10] In his third year he transferred to anthropology and archaeology. He did not excel as a scholar. [11] [12] His first published poetry appeared in Chequer.[11] A poem "The little boys and the seasons", written during this time, was published in Granta, under the pseudonym Daniel Hearing.[13]

After university Hughes went on to have many varied jobs including working as a rose gardener, a night watchman and a reader for the British film company J. Arthur Rank. He also worked in a local zoo, a post that offered plentiful opportunities to observe animals at close quarters.[11] On 26 February 1956, Hughes and his friends held a party to launch St. Botolph's Review, which had a single issue. In it Hughes had four poems. At the party he met the American poet Sylvia Plath, who was studying at Cambridge on a Fulbright Scholarship. She had already published extensively, having won various awards. He and Plath dated and then were married at St George the Martyr Holborn, on 16 June 1956, four months after they had first met. Plath's mother was the only wedding guest and she accompanied them on their honeymoon to Benidorm on the Spanish coast.[14] Reflecting later in Birthday Letters, Hughes commented that early on he could see chasms of difference between himself and Plath, but that in the first years of their marriage they both felt happy and supported, avidly pursuing their writing careers.[14] That year they each had poems published in The Nation, Poetry and The Atlantic.[15] Plath typed up Hughes' manuscript for his collection Hawk In The Rain which went on to win a poetry competition run by the Poetry centre of the Young Men's and Young Women's Hebrew Association of New York.[14] The first prize was publication by Harper and Hughes garnered critical acclaim with the book's release in September 1957. The couple moved to America so that Plath could take a teaching position at her alma mater, Smith College; during this time Hughes taught at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. In 1958 they met Leonard Baskin who would later illustrate many of Hughes' books, including Crow.[14]

The couple returned to England, staying for a short while back in Heptonstall and then finding a small flat in Primrose Hill, London. They were both writing, Hughes working on programmes for the BBC as well as producing essays, articles, reviews and talks.[16] Hughes and Plath had two children, Frieda Rebecca (1960) and Nicholas Farrar (1962) and in 1961, bought the house Court Green, in North Tawton, Devon. In the summer of 1962 Hughes began an affair with Assia Wevill who had been subletting the Primrose Hill flat with her husband. Under a cloud of his many affairs, Hughes and Plath separated in the autumn of 1962 and she set up life in a new flat with the children.

The death of PlathEdit

Beset by depression, and with a history of suicide attempts, Plath took her own life on 11 February 1963, although it is unclear as to whether she meant to ultimately succeed. [17]Hughes was devastated. In a letter to an old friend of Plath's from Smith College, he wrote, "That's the end of my life. The rest is posthumous."[18][19]Some feminists argued that Hughes had driven Plath to suicide. Plath's gravestone was repeatedly vandalized by those aggrieved that "Hughes" is written on the stone and attempted to chisel it off, leaving only the name "Sylvia Plath." [20] In 1970, radical feminist poet Robin Morgan published the poem "Arraignment", in which she openly accused Hughes of the battery and murder of Plath;[20][21] other feminists threatened to kill him in Plath's name.[22] In 1989, with Hughes under public attack, a battle raged in the letters pages of The Guardian and The Independent. In The Guardian on 20 April 1989 Hughes wrote the article "The Place Where Sylvia Plath Should Rest in Peace": "In the years soon after [Plath's] death, when scholars approached me, I tried to take their apparently serious concern for the truth about Sylvia Plath seriously. But I learned my lesson early. [...] If I tried too hard to tell them exactly how something happened, in the hope of correcting some fantasy, I was quite likely to be accused of trying to suppress Free Speech. In general, my refusal to have anything to do with the Plath Fantasia has been regarded as an attempt to suppress Free Speech [...] The Fantasia about Sylvia Plath is more needed than the facts. Where that leaves respect for the truth of her life (and of mine), or for her memory, or for the literary tradition, I do not know."[20][23]As Plath's widower, Hughes, controversially, became the executor of Plath's personal and literary estates. He oversaw the publication of her manuscripts, including Ariel (1966). Some critics were dissatisfied by his choice of poem order and omissions in the book [17] and many feminists argued that Hughes had essentially driven her to suicide and therefore should not be responsible for her literary legacy. [17]He claimed to have destroyed the final volume of Plath's journal, detailing their last few months together. In his foreword to The Journals of Sylvia Plath, he defends his actions as a consideration for the couple's young children.

On 25 March 1969, six years after Plath's suicide by asphyxiation from a gas stove, Assia Wevill committed suicide in the same way. Wevill also killed her child, Alexandra Tatiana Elise (nicknamed Shura), the four-year-old daughter of Hughes, born on 3 March 1965. Their deaths led to claims that Hughes had been abusive to both Plath and Wevill.[24] [25]


In August 1970 Hughes married Carol Orchard, a nurse, and they remained together until his death. He bought the house Lumb Bank near Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire, and maintained the property at Court Green. He began farming a small farm near Winkleigh called Moortown, later to become embedded in the title of one of his poetry collections. He was later to become President of the charity Farms for City Children, established by his friend Michael Morpurgo in Iddesleigh.[26] In October 1970 Crow was published. He was appointed Poet Laureate in 1984, following Sir John Betjeman. Hughes published many works for children and collaborated closely with Peter Brook and the National Theatre Company. [27]He dedicated himself to the Arvon Foundation which promotes writing education, which runs residential writing courses at Hughes home at Lumb Bank, West Yorkshire.[27]

Hughes continued to live at the house in Devon, until his fatal myocardial infarction in a Southwark, London[28] hospital on 28 October 1998, while undergoing treatment for colon cancer. His funeral was held on 3 November 1998, at North Tawton church, and he was cremated in Exeter. Speaking at the funeral, fellow poet Séamus Heaney, said: "No death outside my immediate family has left me feeling more bereft. No death in my lifetime has hurt poets more. He was a tower of tenderness and strength, a great arch under which the least of poetry's children could enter and feel secure. His creative powers were, as Shakespeare said, still crescent. By his death, the veil of poetry is rent and the walls of learning broken."[29]

Template:Wikinews Nicholas Hughes, the son of Hughes and Plath, died by suicide on 16 March 2009 after battling depression.[30]


File:Poet Ted HughesDCP 2068.JPG

Hughes' first collection, Hawk in the Rain (1957) attracted considerable critical acclaim. His most significant work is perhaps Crow (1970), which whilst it has been widely praised also divided critics, combining an apocalyptic, bitter, cynical and surreal view of the universe with what sometimes appeared simple, childlike verse.

In a 1971 interview with London Magazine, Hughes cited his main influences as including Blake, Donne, Hopkins and Eliot. He mentioned also Schopenhauer, Robert Graves' book The White Goddess and The Tibetan Book of the Dead. [31]

Hughes worked for 10 years on a prose poem, "Gaudete", which he hoped to have made into a film. It tells the story of the vicar of an English village who is carried off by elemental spirits, and replaced in the village by his enantiodromic double, a changeling, fashioned from a log, who nevertheless has the same memories as the original vicar. The double is a force of nature who organises the women of the village into a "love coven" in order that he may father a new messiah. When the male members of the community discover what is going on, they murder him. The epilogue consists of a series of lyrics spoken by the restored priest in praise of a nature goddess, inspired by Robert Graves's White Goddess. It was printed in 1977. Hughes was very interested in the relationship between his poetry and the book arts and many of his books were produced by notable presses and in collaborative editions with artists, for instance with Leonard Baskin.[32]

In addition to his own poetry, Hughes wrote a number of translations of European plays, mainly classical ones. HisTales from Ovid (1997) contains a selection of free verse translations from Ovid's Metamorphoses. He also wrote both poetry and prose for children, one of his most successful books being The Iron Man, written to comfort his children after Sylvia Plath's suicide. It later became the basis of Pete Townshend's rock opera of the same name, and of the animated film The Iron Giant.

In 1992, Hughes published Shakespeare and the Goddess of Complete Being, a monumental work inspired by Graves' The White Goddess. [33] In Birthday Letters, his last collection, Hughes broke his silence on Plath, detailing aspects of their life together and his own behaviour at the time. The cover artwork was by their daughter Frieda. Hughes' definitive 1,333-page Collected Poems (Faber & Faber) appeared (posthumously) in 2003. A poem discovered in October 2010, "Last letter", describes what happened during the three days leading up to Plath's suicide.[3]It was published in New Statesman on National Poetry Day, October 2010.


Hughes' earlier poetic work is rooted in nature and, in particular, the innocent savagery of animals, an interest from an early age. He wrote frequently of the mixture of beauty and violence in the natural world. [34]Animals serve as a metaphor for his view on life: animals live out a struggle for the survival of the fittest in the same way that humans strive for ascendancy and success. Examples can be seen in the poems "Hawk Roosting" and "Jaguar". [34]

The West Riding dialect of Hughes' childhood remained a staple of his poetry, his lexicon lending a texture that is concrete, terse, emphatic, economical yet powerful. The manner of speech renders the hard facts of things and wards off self-indulgence. [8]

Hughes later work is deeply reliant upon myth and the British bardic tradition, heavily inflected with a modernist, Jungian and ecological viewpoint. [34] He re-worked classical and archetypal myth working with a conception of the dark sub-conscious. [34]


Hughes archival material is held by institutions such as Emory University, Atlanta, Exeter University. The British Library also has a large collection comprising over 220 files containing manuscripts, letters, journals, personal diaries and correspondence. From 2010 the library archive will be accessible through the British Library website.[35]


In 1959 Hughes won the Galbraith prize which brought $5,000.

Hughes was appointed as Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom in 1984 following the death of John Betjeman. It was later known that Hughes was second choice for the appointment. Philip Larkin, the preferred nominee, had declined, because of ill health and writer's block. Hughes served in this position until his death in 1998.

Hughes was appointed a member of the Order of Merit by Queen Elizabeth II just before he died.

A memorial walk was inaugurated in 2005, leading from the Devon village of Belstone to Hughes's memorial stone above the River Taw, on Dartmoor.[36][37] On 28 April 2011, a blue memorial plaque for Hughes was unveiled at North Tawton by his wife Carol.[26]

At Lumb Bridge near Pecket Well, Calderdale is a plaque, installed by The Elmet Trust, commemorating Hughes' poem "Six Young Men", which was inspired by an old photograph of six young men taken at that spot. The photograph, taken just before the First World War, was of six young men who were all to soon lose their lives in the war[38]

In 2008 The Times ranked Hughes fourth on their list of "The 50 greatest British writers since 1945".[39]

A memorial stone for Hughes was unveiled in Poets' Corner, Westminster Abbey, on 6 December 2011.[40]

Ted Hughes AwardEdit

Main article: Ted Hughes Award

In 2009 the Ted Hughes Award for new work in poetry was established with the permission of Carol Hughes. The Poetry Society notes "the award is named in honour of Ted Hughes, Poet Laureate, and one of the greatest twentieth century poets for both children and adults".[41] Members of the Poetry Society and Poetry Book Society recommend a living UK poet who has made the most new and innovative work completed that year, "highlighting outstanding contributions made by poets to our cultural life." The £5,000 prize funded from the annual honorarium that Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy receives as Laureate from The Queen. [42]



  • The Hawk in the Rain. New York: Harper, 1957.
  • Pike. Northampton, MA: Gehenna Press, 1959.
  • Lupercal. New York: Harper, 1960.
  • Selected Poems (with Thom Gunn). London: Faber, 1962.
  • Animal Poems. Crediton, Devon, UK: Gilbertson, 1967.
  • Gravestones. Exeter, Devon, UK: Exeter College of Art, 1967
    • published as Poems, 1968.
  • I Said Goodbye to the Earth. London: Turret, 1969.
  • The Martyrdom of Bishop Farrer. Crediton, Devon, UK: Gilbertson, 1970.
  • Crow: From The life and songs of the crow. London: Faber, 1970; New York: Harper, 1971
    • revised edition, London: Faber, 1972; New York: Harper, 1981.
  • Fighting for Jerusalem. Ashington, Northumberland, UK: Mid-NAG, 1970.
  • Selected Poems, 1957-1967 (illustrated by Leonard Baskin). London: Faber, 1972; New York: Harper, 1973.
  • Cave Birds. London: Scolar Press 1975
    • enlarged as Cave Birds: An alchemical drama (illustrated by Leonard Baskin). London: Faber & Faber, 1978; New York: Viking Press, 1979.
  • The Interrogator: A Titled Vulturess.London: Scolar Press, 1975.
  • Guadete. New York: Harper, 1977.
  • Remains of Elmet: A Pennine sequence (photos by Fay Godwin). London: Rainbow Press, 1979
    • revised as Elmet: Poems. London: Faber, 1994.
  • In the Black Chapel (poster). London: Victoria & Albert Museum, 1979.
  • Woodpecker, Wolverine, Eagle, Mosquito, Tapir’s Saga, Wolf-Watching, Mice Are Funny Little Creatures, Weasels at Work, Fly Inspects (broadsides). North Tawton, Devon, UK: Morrigu Press, 1979-1983.
  • Moortown. London: Faber, 1979; New York: Harper, 1980.
  • Sky-Furnace (painting by Roger Vick). North Tawton, Devon, UK: Caricia Fine Arts, 1981.
  • A Primer of Birds: Poems (illustrated by Leonard Baskin). Lurley, Devon, UK: Gehenna Press, 1981.
  • Selected Poems, 1957-1981. London: Faber, 1982
    • enlarged as New Selected Poems. New York: Harper, 1982
    • expanded as New Selected Poems, 1957-1994. London: Faber, 1995.
  • River (photos by Peter Keen). London: Faber, 1983; New York: Harper, 1984.
  • Flowers and Insects: Some birds and a pair of spiders (illustrated by Leonard Baskin). New York: Knopf, 1986.
  • Tales of the Early World, Faber, 1988.
  • Wolfwatching. London: Faber, 1989.
  • Moortown Diary (originally published in Moortown). London: Faber, 1989.
  • Cappriccio (illustrated by Leonard Baskin). Searsmont, ME: Gehenna Press, 1990.
  • Rain-Charm for the Duchy, and other laureate poems. London: Faber, 1992.
  • The Birthday Letters. New York: Farrar, Straus, & Giroux, 1998.
  • Selected Poems, 1957-1994. New York: Farrar, Straus, & Giroux, 2002.
  • Collected Poems (edited by Paul Keegan). New York: Farrar, Straus, & Giroux, 2003.

Limited-edition poetryEdit

  • The Burning of the Brothel. London: Turret Books, 1966.
  • Recklings. London: Turret Books, 1966.
  • Scapegoats and Rabies: A Poem in Five Parts. Woodford Green, Essex, UK: Poet & Printer, 1967.
  • Poems (with Ruth Fainlight and Alan Sillitoe). London: Rainbow Press, 1967, 1971.
  • A Crow Hymn. Frensham, Surrey, UK: Sceptre Press, 1970.
  • A Few Crows Exeter, Devon, UK: Rougemont Press, 1970.
  • Amulet. privately printed, 1970.
  • Four Crow Poems. privately printed, 1970.
  • Autumn Song (illustrated by Nina Carroll). Kettering, Northamptonshire, UK: Steane, 1971.
  • Crow Wakes: Poems. Woodford Green, Essex, UK: Poet & Printer, 1971.
  • In The Little Girl’s Angel Gaze. London: Steam Press, 1972.
  • Prometheus on His Crag: 21 poems (illustrated by Leonard Baskin). London: Rainbow Press, 1973.
  • Eclipse. Knotting, Bedfordshire, UK: Sceptre Press, 1976.
  • Sunstruck. . Knotting, Bedfordshire, UK: Sceptre Press, 1977.
  • Chiasmadon. Baltimore, MD: Charles Seluzicki, 1977.
  • Orts. London: Rainbow Press, 1978.
  • Moortown Elegies. London: Rainbow Press, 1978.
  • A Solstice, Knotting, Bedfordshire, UK: Sceptre Press, 1978.
  • Calder Valley Poems. London: Rainbow Press, 1978.
  • Adam and the Sacred Nine. London: Rainbow Press, 1979.
  • Henry Williamson: A Tribute. London: Rainbow Press, 1979.
  • Four Tales Told by an Idiot. Knotting, Bedfordshire, UK: Sceptre Press, 1979.

Short fictionEdit

  • The Dreamfighter, and other creation tales (stories), London: Faber, 1995.
  • Difficulties of a Bridegroom: Collected short stories. Picador, 1995.


  • Essential Shakespeare. New York: Ecco Press, 1991.
  • Shakespeare and the Goddess of Complete Being. New York: Farrar, Straus, & Giroux, 1992.
  • Winter Pollen: Occasional prose (essays; edited by William Scammell). London: Faber, 1994; New York: Picador USA, 1995.


Children's verseEdit

  • Meet My Folks! (illustrated by George Adamson). London: Faber, 1961; Indianapolis, IN: Bobbs-Merrill, 1973
    • revised edition, London: Faber, 1987.
  • The Earth-Owl, and other Moon-people. London: Faber, 1963; New York: Atheneum, 1964
    • published as Moon-Whales, and other moon poems (illustrated by Leonard Baskin). New York: Viking, 1976
    • revised as Moon Whales. London: Faber, 1988.
  • Nessie, The Mannerless Monster (illustrated by Gerald Rose). London: Faber, 1964
    • revised as Nessie the Monster (illustrated by Jan Pyk). Indianapolis, IN: Bobbs-Merrill, 1974.
  • Five Autumn Songs for Children’s Voices (illustrated by Phillida Gili). Crediton, Devon, UK: Gilbertson, 1968.
  • Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter. London: Rainbow Press, 1974
    • revised as Season Songs (illustrated by Leonard Baskin). New York: Viking Press, 1975
    • revised edition, London: Faber, 1987.
  • Moon-Bells, and other poems. London: Chatto & Windus, 1978.
  • The Cat and the Cuckoo: Collected Poems. Winchester, UK: , Wykeham Press, circa 1987; Brookfield, CT: Roaring Brook Press, 1988.

Children's fictionEdit

  • How the Whale Became, and other stories. London: Faber & Faber, 1963
    • revised edition, New York: Atheneum, 1964
    • (illustrated by Jackie Morris). New York: Orchard Books, 2000.
  • The Iron Giant: A story in five nights. New York: Harper, 1968
    • revised as The Iron Man: A story in five nights. London: Faber & Faber, 1968
    • revised edition, 1984
    • reprinted under original title. New York: Knopf, 1999.
  • Earth-Moon (illustrated by Hughes). London:, Rainbow Press, 1976.
  • Under the North Star (illustrated by Leonard Baskin). Viking Press, 1981.
  • What Is the Truth? A farmyard fable for the young (illustrated by R.J. Lloyd). New York: Harper, 1984.
  • Ffangs the Vampire Bat and the Kiss of Truth. London: Faber & Faber, 1986.
  • The Iron Woman. New York: Dial, 1995.
  • The Mermaid’s Purse (illustrated by Flora McDonnell). New York: Knopf, 2000.


  • Yehuda Amichai, Selected Poems (editor & translated with Assia Gutmann). London: Cape Goliard Press, 1968
    • revised as Poems. New York: Harper, 1969.
  • János Pilinszky, Selected Poems (edited & translated with János Csokits). Manchester, England: Carcanet, 1976.
  • Yehuda Amichai, Amen (edited and translated with Yehuda Amichai). New York: Harper, 1977.
  • , Another Republic (edited by Charles Simic & Mark Strand). New York: Ecco Press, 1977.
  • The Early Books of Yehuda Amichai (translated with Harold Schimmel & Assia Gutmann). New York: Sheep Meadow Press, 1988.
  • Ovid, Tales from Ovid. New York: Farrar, Straus, & Giroux, 1997.
  • Aeschylus, The Oresteia. New York: Farrar, Straus, & Giroux, 1999.
  • Jean Racine, Phèdre. New York: Farrar, Straus, & Giroux, 1999.
  • Euripides, Euripides’ Alcestis. New York: Farrar, Straus, & Giroux, 1999.


  • New Poems 1962 (edited with Patricia Beer and Vernon Scannell). London: Hutchinson, 1962.
  • Five American Poets (edited with Thom Gunn). London: Faber & Faber, 1963.
  • Here Today. Hutchinson, 1963.
  • Sylvia Plath, Ariel (edited with Alwyn Hughes). London: Faber & Faber, 1965; New York: Harper, 1966.
  • (And author of introduction) Keith Douglas, Selected Poems. London: Faber and Faber, 1964; New York: Chilmark Press, 1965.
  • Poetry in the Making: An Anthology of Poems and Programmes from “Listening and Writing”. London: Faber and Faber, 1967
    • abridged as Poetry Is. New York: Doubleday, 1970.
  • (And author of introduction) Emily Dickinson, A Choice of Emily Dickinson’s Verse. London: Faber and Faber, 1968.
  • (And author of introduction) William Shakespeare, With Fairest Flowers While Summer Lasts: Poems from Shakespeare. New York: Doubleday, 1971,
    • published as A Choice of Shakespeare’s Verse. London: Faber and Faber, 1971,
    • introduction published as Shakespeare’s Poem. London: Lexham Press, 1971.
  • Sylvia Plath, Crossing the Waters: Transitional Poems. New York: Harper, 1971
    • published as Crossing the Waters. LOndon: Faber and Faber, 1971.
  • Sylvia Plath, Winter Trees. London: Faber and Faber, 1971; New York: Harper, 1972.
  • (And author of introduction) Sylvia Plath, Johnny Panic and the Bible of Dreams, and other prose writings. London: Faber and Faber, 1977; New York: Harper, 1979.
  • New Poetry 6, Hutchison, 1980.
  • (And author of introduction) Sylvia Plath, The Collected Poems. New York: Harper, 1981.
  • The Rattle Bag: An anthology of poetry (edited with Seamus Heaney). London: Faber, 1982.
  • Arvon Foundation Poetry Competition: 1980 anthology (edited with Seamus Heaney). Kilnhurst, 1982.
  • The Journals of Sylvia Plath (consulting editor and author of foreword; edited by Frances McCullough). New York: Dial, 1982; New York: Anchor Books, 1998.
  • Sylvia Plath, Sylvia Plath’s Selected Poems. London: Faber, 1985.
  • Winning Words (stories by children). London: Faber, 1991.
  • Dancer to God: Tributes to T.S. Eliot. New York: Farrar, Straus, & Giroux, 1993.
  • Samuel Taylor Coleridge, A Choice of Coleridge’s Verse. London: Faber & Faber, 1996.


  • Letters of Ted Hughes (edited by Christopher Reid). New York:, Farrar, Straus, & Giroux, 2008.

Except where noted, bibliographical information courtesy the Poetry Foundation.[43]


  • The House of Aries (radio play), broadcast, 1960.
  • The Calm, produced in Boston, MA, 1961.
  • A Houseful of Women (radio play), broadcast, 1961.
  • The Wound (radio play; also see below), broadcast, 1962, revised version produced in London, 1972.
  • Difficulties of a Bridegroom (radio play), broadcast, 1963.
  • Epithalamium, produced in London, 1963.
  • Dogs (radio play), broadcast, 1964.
  • The House of Donkeys (radio play), broadcast, 1965.
  • The Head of Gold (radio play), broadcast, 1967.
  • The Coming of the Kings, and other plays (juvenile; contains Beauty and the Beast [broadcast, 1965; produced in London, 1971], Sean, the Fool [broadcast, 1968; produced in London, 1971], The Devil and the Cats [broadcast, 1968; produced in London, 1971], The Coming of the Kings [broadcast, 1964; televised, 1967; produced in London, 1972], and The Tiger’s Bones [broadcast, 1965]). London: Faber and Faber, 1970
    • revised edition (also contains Orpheus [broadcast, 1971]), published as The Tiger’s Bones and Other Plays for Children (illustrated by Alan E. Cober). New York: Viking Press, 1975.
  • The Price of a Bride (juvenile; radio play), broadcast, 1966.
  • (Adapter) Seneca’s Oedipus (produced in London at National Theatre, 1968, in Los Angeles, 1973, in New York, 1977). London: Faber and Faber, 1969; New York: Doubleday, 1972.
  • Orghast, produced in Persepolis, Iran, 1971.
  • Eat Crow. London: Rainbow Press, 1971.
  • The Iron Man (based on his juvenile book; televised, 1972). London: Faber, 1973.
  • Orpheus. Dramatic Publishing, 1973.
  • The Pig Organ; or, Pork with perfect pitch (children's opera; music by Richard Blackford), produced in London at the Round House, 1980.

Except where noted, information courtesy the Poetry Foundation.[43]

See alsoEdit

Preceded by
John Betjeman
Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom
Succeeded by
Andrew Motion


  • Ted Hughes by Charlie Bell. Hodder and Stoughton 2002
  • The Epic Poise: a celebration of Ted Hughes, edited by Nick Gammage, Faber and Faber, 1999.
  • Ted Hughes: the life of a poet, by Elaine Feinstein, W.W. Norton, 2001.
  • Bound to Please, by Michael Dirda pp 17–21, W.W. Norton, 2005.
  • Ted Hughes: a literary life, by Neil Roberts, Palgrave Macmillan, 2006.
  • The art of Ted Hughes by Keith Sagar Cambridge University Press. 1978


  1. Daily Telegraph, "Philip Hensher reviews Collected Works of Ted Hughes, plus other reviews", April 2004
  2. Joanny Moulin (2004). Ted Hughes: alternative horizons. p.17. Routledge, 2004
  3. 3.0 3.1 New Statesman: Ted Hughes's poem on the night Sylvia Plath died, 6 October 2010
  4. "Ted Hughes Homepage". Retrieved 2008-09-30. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Bell (2002) p4
  6. 6.0 6.1 Sagar (1978), p6
  7. Ted Hughes: Timeline, Ann Skea
  8. 8.0 8.1 Sagar (1978) p7
  9. Keith M. Sagar (1981). Ted Hughes p.9. University of Michigan
  10. Sagar (1978), p8
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 Bell (2002), p5
  12. "Ted Hughes". Retrieved 2008-09-30. 
  13. Sagar (1978) p9
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 Bell (2002), p6
  15. Sagar (1978), p11
  16. Bell, Charlie (2002) Ted Hughes Hodder and Stoughton, p7
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 Bell, Charlie (2002) Ted Hughes Hodder and Stoughton p8
  18. Gifford, Terry (2008). Ted Hughes. Routledge. p15 ISBN 0415311896
  19. Smith College. Plath papers. Series 6, Hughes. Plath archive.
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 Badia, Janet and Jennifer Phegle. (2005). Reading Women: Literary Figures and Cultural Icons from the Victorian Age to the Present. University of Toronto Press. p252 ISBN 0802089283.
  21. Robin Morgan's Official website Accessed 2010-07-09
  22. "Rhyme, reason and depression". (16 February 1993). The Guardian. Accessed 2010-07-09.
  23. Hughes, Ted. "The Place Where Sylvia Plath Should Rest in Peace". Guardian Article. 20 April 1989
  24. I failed her. I was 30 and stupid The Observer 19 March 2000 Accessed 2010-07-09
  25. Yehuda Koren and Eilat Negev (2006-10-19). "''Written out of history'' Guardian article on Wevill and Hughes 19 October 2006". London: Guardian. Retrieved 2010-04-27. 
  26. 26.0 26.1 Blue Plaque for North Tawton Poet Laureate at
  27. 27.0 27.1 Bell, Charlie (2002) Ted Hughes Hodder and Stoughton p10
  28. "Deaths England and Wales 1984-2006". Retrieved 2010-04-27. 
  29. Boyanowsky, Ehor (2010) Savage Gods, Silver Ghosts: In The Wild with Ted Hughes Douglas & McIntyre ltd, ISBN 1553653238, p195
  30. "Tragic poet Sylvia Plath's son kills himself". CNN. 23 March 2009. Retrieved 16 July 2010. 
  31. Bell (2002) p11
  32. "Richard Price, Ted Hughes and the Book Arts". 1930-08-17. Retrieved 2010-04-27. 
  33. Faber
  34. 34.0 34.1 34.2 34.3 Bell (2002) p1
  35. British Library Hughes Archive. Retrieved 2020-07-15.
  36. BBC Devon article - Walking with words on park trail. 28 April 2006
  37. Ted Hughes Memorial Walk (2008-01-31). "BBC Devon - Ted Hughes memorial". Retrieved 2010-04-27. 
  38. .Hughes plaque, Lumb Bank
  39. (5 January 2008). The 50 greatest British writers since 1945. The Times. Retrieved on 2010-02-01.
  40. Ted Hughes, People, History, Westminster Abbey. Web, July 11, 2016.
  41. Hughes Award history
  42. Ted Hughes Award, hosted by the Poetry Society
  43. 43.0 43.1 Ted Hughes 1930-1998, Poetry Foundation, Web, Oct. 8, 2012.

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