10 Interesting Facts about Ted Hughes

These following facts about Ted Hughes might probably give you much information about what kind of person he was. Ted Hughes, who was born as Edward James “Ted Hughes”, was an English poet and children’s writer. Critics routinely ran him as one of the best poets of this generation. Hughes was British Poet Laureate from 1984 until his death. Hughes was married to American poet Sylvia Plath, from 1956 until her suicide in 1963 at the age of 30. His last poetic work, Birthday Letters (1998), explored their complex relationship. To get to know more about him, here are some other facts about Ted Hughes you might be interested in.

Facts about Ted Hughes 1: Early Life

Hughes loved hunting and fishing, swimming and picnicking with his family. He attended the Burnley Road School until he was seven, when his family moved to Mexborough, South Yorkshire, then attending Schofield Street Junior Schoo. 

Facts about Ted Hughes 2: Influence

 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”. He learnt many of the plays by heart and memorized great quantities of Yeat’s poetry.

Facts about Ted Hughes - Ted Hughes

Facts about Ted Hughes – Ted Hughes

Facts about Ted Hughes 3: Career

In 1951, Hughes initially studied English at Pembroke College under M. J. C. Hodgart, an authority on balladic forms. Hughes felt encouraged and supported by Hodgart’s supervision, but attended few lectures and wrote no more poetry at this time, feeling stifled by literary academia and the “terrible, suffocating, maternal octopus” of literary tradition.

Facts about Ted Hughes 4: Marriage

In August 1970 Hughes married Carol Orchard, a nurse, and they remained together until his death.

Facts about Ted Hughes - Arvon Center

Facts about Ted Hughes – Arvon Center

Facts about Ted Hughes 5: Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize

Hughes was appointed Poet Laureate in 1984, following Sir John Betjeman. A collection of animal poems for children had been published by Faber earlier that year, What is the Truth?, illustrated by R. J. Lloyd. For that work he won the annual Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize, a once-in-a-lifetime book award.

Facts about Ted Hughes 6: Works

Hughes’s first collection, The Hawk in the Rain (1957) attracted considerable critical acclaim. In 1959 he won the Galbraith prize which brought $5,000. 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.

Facts about Ted Hughes - Arvon Foundation

Facts about Ted Hughes – Arvon Foundation

Facts about Ted Hughes 7: Themes

Hughes’s 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. Animals serve as a metaphor for his view on life: animals live out a struggle for the surval of the fittest in the same way that humans strive for ascendancy and success.

Facts about Ted Hughes 8: Commemoration and Legacy

On 28 April 2011 a memorial plaque for Hughes was unveiled at North Tawton by his wife Carol. At Lumb Bridge near Pecket Well, Caldardale is a plaque, installed by The Elmet Trust, commemorating Hughes’s poem “Six Young Men”, which was inspired by an old photograph of six young men taken at that spot.

Facts about Ted Hughes - Birthplace

Facts about Ted Hughes – Birthplace

Facts about Ted Hughes 9: 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”.

Facts about Ted Hughes 10: Ted Hughes Society

The Ted Hughes Society, founded in 2010, publishes a peer-reviewed on-line journal, which can be downloaded by members. Its website also publishes news, and has articles on all Hughes’s major works for free access.

Facts about Ted Hughes - Painting

Facts about Ted Hughes – Painting

Hope you would find those Ted Hughes facts really interesting and useful for your additional reading.

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