Ted Hughes
- Favourite Briton.

Born in Mytholmroyd, West Yorkshire
Born on 17th of August 1930
Died on 28th of October 1998

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'What happens in the heart simp'... More

Ted Hughes, born 17th August 1930 as Edward James Hughes, was an English poet and children's writer. Hughes was British Poet Laureate from 1984 until his death on 28th October 1998. He was born in Mytholmroyd, West Yorkshire, the third child of Edith Farrar and William Hughes. The area is surrounded by the stark moorscape of the Yorkshire Pennines and is responsible for influencing much of Hughes' writing. In 1948 he won a scholarship from grammar school to Pembroke College, Cambridge where he studied English, anthropology and archaeology. He graduated in 1954 and had several part-time jobs. In 1956 Hughes and some friends launched their own poetry magazine, 'The St. Botolph's Review'. At the magazine launch party, he met American poet, Sylvia Plath, who had come to Cambridge on a Fulbright scholarship. Hughes and Plath were married in June 1956 and spent 2 years living and working in the US. In 1961 they moved to Court Green, a house in North Tawton, Devon. They had two children, Frieda Rebecca and Nicholas Farrar. The couple separated in the autumn of 1962 and Plath moved out of Court Green. She killed herself in February of 1963 by asphyxiation from a gas oven, and Hughes continued to live at Court Green, on and off, with his lover, Assia Wevill. Wevill would go on to take her own life and that of her and Hughes' daughter some six years later, using the same method Plath had used to commit suicide. As Plath's widower, Hughes became executor of her estates and oversaw the publication of her manuscripts. In 1970, Hughes married a nurse called Carol Orchard and they remained together, living at Court Green until he died. Hughes' early poetry is rooted in nature and animals and explores the mixture of beauty and violence in the natural world, such as in 'Hawk Roosting'. His later work is very mythical, intoned with an existential and satirical viewpoint, resulting in the publication of works such as 'Hawk in the Rain', 'Crow' and 'Tales from Ovid'. In 'Birthday Letters', published in 1998, Hughes broke his silence on Sylvia Plath, detailing aspects of their life together. Hughes also wrote classical opera librettos and collaborated with theatre director, Peter Brook. He edited poetry and prose anthologies and wrote numerous children's books, perhaps the most famous of these being 'The Iron Man', written to comfort his children after Plath's death. It later became the basis of a rock opera by Pete Townsend, as well as an animated film called 'The Iron Giant'. In 1984 Hughes was appointed Poet Laureate and later received the Order of Merit from the Queen, shortly before he died. His funeral was held at North Tawton church and his ashes were scattered on Dartmoor.

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