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Letters of Ted Hughes [Hardcover]

Ted Hughes , Christopher Reid
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
RRP: 30.00
Price: 24.32 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

1 Nov 2007
At the outset of his career Ted Hughes described letter-writing as 'excellent training for conversation with the world', and he was to become a prolific master of this art which combines writing and talking. This selection begins when Hughes was seventeen, and documents the course of a life at once resolutely private but intensely attuned to other lives (including a readership comprising both adults and children); a life pared down to essentials and yet eventful, peripatetic, at times publicly controversial.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 784 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber; 1st Edition edition (1 Nov 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571221386
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571221387
  • Product Dimensions: 16.5 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 420,903 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Ted Hughes (1930-1998) was born in Yorkshire. His first book, The Hawk in the Rain, was published in 1957 by Faber and Faber and was followed by many volumes of poetry and prose for adults and children. He received the Whitbread Book of the Year for two consecutive years for his last published collections of poetry, Tales from Ovid (1997) and Birthday Letters (1998). He was Poet Laureate from 1984, and in 1998 he was appointed to the Order of Merit.

Product Description


"'This is a book, like the letters of Keats, which will be read in 200 years' time.' Philip Hensher, Spectator 'This year's most surprising and rewarding book.' Blake Morrison, Guardian 'Reid's succinct annotation allows the full, unique personality to blaze out unimpeded, and the result is magnificent.' John Carey, Sunday Times" --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Book Description

A major Faber publication for Autumn 2007

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
97 of 103 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The poet Ted Hughes experienced the sort of vilification in the second part of his life more appropriate to a war-criminal. His first wife Sylvia Plath committed suicide, as did his partner Assia Wevill. There is ample evidence that both Plath and Wevill were psychologically disturbed before either of them ever set eyes on TH but, it would seem, Ted Hughes had to be vilified. Maybe it's human nature to want a villain. It is certainly human nature to be curious about other people's lives. But if you come to this book with the desire to gawp, or to slaver over juicy (and unedifying) facts, you will find little of interest.

If, on the other hand, you are aware of TH as a poet, there is much here to fascinate and enjoy. Throughout his life he corresponded with a large number of people. There are letters here to his own relatives, to his children Frieda and Nicholas (both as children and as adults), to several great friends whom he met in the 1950s in Cambridge and, yes, there are some love-letters (one is given to understand they are not ALL here. And why should they be ? We don't OWN the man.) There are also letters, as one would expect, to other literary figures : Seamus Heaney, Thom Gunn, Yehuda Amichai the Israeli poet who Ted Hughes befriended in the Sixties and whose work he promoted. The picture that emerges is of a deeply intelligent and well-read individual who thought much on subjects such as the environment (before it was a la mode), shamanism, the role of education, the importance of Shakespeare,etc. etc. He worked closely with several Eastern European poets-Holub, Popa, Pilinszky, Csokits, Herbert-at a time when these literatures were scarcely known in Britain. And he was passionately committed to the young, very encouraging, never patronizing.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous 28 April 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
So much has been written about 'the life', 'the lives' and of course 'the death'. Here is the man himself, raw, flawed and magnificent. His letters to his daughter on creative writing technique I found especially useful. This is one of the few books I own that I keep permanently beside my bed.

Stephanie Zia author of
Ten Good Reasons To Lie About Your Age (Romantic Comedy)
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ted Hghe's Letters, the inner man revealed. 15 Nov 2009
This comprehensive selection of Hughes' letters reveals many aspects of his thinking and the stimulation he found to write his outstanding poetry.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, ish 15 April 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I love Hughes's verse, and much of his prose, and these letters are often interesting both in what they say about the poetry and what they say about the life. However to really enjoy a collection of letters, i think you need humour. Hughes was not a witty man, and so these can be rather hard going. The letters of Larkin and Amis are a much more enjoyable read, although both are lesser writers than Hughes.
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5.0 out of 5 stars great 14 Nov 2013
By Rawly
Format:Kindle Edition
Found myself with this book for a month of reading and re-reading unusual and inspirational stories, ideas, thoughts. They should have published all of his letters though.
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