Ted Hughes

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Ted Hughes’s full name was Edward James Hughes. He was born on Aug. 17, 1930, in Mytholmroyd, England. His parents were William Henry Hughes and Edith Hughes. William Hughes, Ted’s father, a carpenter, survived World War I, and he told stories about the war which left imprints in Ted's imagination with violence and death. At the age of 7 he and his family moved to Mexborough, Yorkshire, and at Mexborough Grammar School he began to write poetry. He won a scholarship to Pembroke College, Cambridge. In college he decided to study English literature. In his last year of college he changed his path of study to archaeology and anthropology. Ted Hughes graduated with a master's degree in 1959, Hughes had many peculiar jobs while occasionally publishing poems in university poetry magazines. At Cambridge he met and married U.S. poet Sylvia Plath in 1956. Hughe's first book of poems, Hawk in the Rain, was published in 1957 to immediate acclaim, winning the Harper publication contest. Over the next 41 years, he would write upwards of 90 books, and win numerous prizes and fellowships. In 1984, he was appointed England’s poet laureate.  Hughes and Plath had separated by 1963, when Plath committed suicide in 1963 (they had separated in 1962), many held Hughes responsible for her death as a consequence of his adulterous relationship with Assia Wevill. Though deeply marked by the loss, Hughes was publicly silent on the subject for more than 30 years out of his sense of responsibility to protect the couple's two young children, whose perceptions of their mother would have otherwise been impossibly spoiled by external interference.

Throughout his career he wrote many memorable poems such as River (1983) and Remains of Elmet (1979), Tales from Ovid (1997), The Collected Poems of Sylvia Plath (1980) and many more. Today he is remembered as one of the greatest English poets. Ted Hughes died on October 29, 1998. He was recognized as one of England’s...
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