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Criticism: Monographs & Collections

Last update: 12-vi-2006


This page lists monographs & collections of essays & articles. Single articles published elsewhere are listed separately (see menu).
Where available, additional information on each publication is given.
Some of the essays published in collections have since been made available online . Where known to me, these are marked accordingly.

The order of this listing is chronological. However, for easier reference, you will also find an alphabetical list below. Images of book covers are included under the assumption stated in the Copyrights section.


Recent Critical Publications:

Fixed Stars Govern A Life: Transforming Poetics And Memory With Emory's Ted Hughes Archive
Ed. Ron Schuchard, May(?) 2006

Fixed Stars ... Cover

First publication of four contributions to the Emory Conference, with an introduction by Ron Schuchard.

  • "Hughes and Eliot: Possession," by Ronald Schuchard;
  • "Ted Hughes's Memory," by Gavin Drummond;
  • "The Ecology of Ted Hughes: Wolfwatching -- the Final Poetic Statement," by Terry Gifford; and
  • "Hughes, Plath, and the Three Caryatids," by Diane Middlebrook.


Ted Hughes: Alternative Horizons.
Ed. Joanny Moulin, July 2004

Alternative Horizons - book cover

These are the collected proceedings from the Ted Hughes Conference 2000 in Lyon. The volume has been edited by Joanny Moulin. A short listing is included below. For additional details on the proceedings, please see the Lyon Conference Page.


Poetry and Magic
by Ann Skea, complete

Ann Skea - Priestess image

Ann Skea has published her analysis of Birthday Letters in the context of Caballa as an ongoing on-line venture since 2000. Details below. [On-line Essays]
In 2005, Ann embarked on a new but related venture, titled »Howls & Whispers: The Averse Sephiroth and the Spheres of the Qlippoth. An analysis of Ted Hughes' use of Cabbala in Howls & Whispers« Details below [On-line Essays]


Alphabetical Index:



The Seventies

Keith Sagar:
Ted Hughes

Longman, Harlow, 1972.

The first study of Hughes's work published in the Writers and their Work series, Ted Hughes, is a 50 page booklet offering basics on his work up to the early 1970s. Keith Sagar greatly expanded on this in his Art of Ted Hughes.  


A.C.H. Smith:
Orghast at Persepolis: An Account of the Experiment in Theatre Directed by Peter Brook and Written by Ted Hughes

Methuen, London, 1972.

The book offers an account of Hughes's collaboration with Peter Brook's International Theatre Company, which culminated in Orghast. The book contains many quotes from Hughes and reprints drafts from his notebook on the Orghast plot.  


Waltraud Mitgutsch:
Zur Lyrik von Ted Hughes und Thom Gunn: Eine Interpretation nach Leitmotiven

Universität Salzburg, 1973.

Not seen. Apparently an ›interpretation of the poetry of Hughes and Gunn according to leitmotifs‹.  


Keith Sagar:
The Art of Ted Hughes

Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1975; second, extended edition 1978.

Cover: The Art of Ted Hughes

The Art of Ted Hughes was the first major study of Ted Hughes work. It built on and extended the material collected in Keith Sagar's Ted Hughes (1972). The extended edition covers the following topics/books:

»Beginnings« (A short biographical introduction up to 1957, when The Hawk in the Rain was published.)
»The Hawk in the Rain«
»Prometheus on His Crag«
»Season Songs«
»Cave Birds«

The Art of Ted Hughes provides a good introduction to Ted Hughes's work. It is an accessible and readable book with a lot of background information.

Though out of print for some time, The Art of Ted Hughes is still available through second-hand bookstores.


The Eighties

Ekbert Faas:
Ted Hughes: The Unaccommodated Universe

Black Sparrow Press, Santa Barbara, 1980.

Cover: Unaccommodated Universe

The Unaccommodated Universe is another good introduction to Ted Hughes's work. It also contains »selected critical writings by Ted Hughes and two interviews«. Mostly, the critical pieces are abbreviated versions from articles and reviews Hughes wrote. The full originals of most of these have been collected in Ted Hughes's Winter Pollen. The two interviews are those conducted by Faas himself in 1970 and 1977: »Ted Hughes and Crow« and »Ted Hughes and Gaudete«. There is a lot of valuable background information in this book. The Unaccommodated Universe is divided into the following chapters:

I. Origins
1. The New Global Tradition
2. A Radical Primitivism

II. Poetics
1. »Flash Vision« Creativity
2. Exercises in Meditation and Invocation
3. Concept of Language
4. Myth, Parapsychology and the Poetic Imagination

III. Beginnings
1. Boyhood, University and Early Poetry
2. The Breakthrough of »The Thought-Fox«
3. In Search of Lupercalia and »Hawk Roosting«

IV. Towards Crow
1. Lady Lazarus
2. The Wound and »Theology«
3. Children's Books and Educational Psychotherapy
4. Eat Crow and Recklings
5. Wodwo

V. Crow
1. Pseudo-Biblical and Mythical Poems
2. The Influence of Primitive Poetry
3. The Story of Crow
4. From Crow to Orghast

VI. Gaudete
1. The Story of the Reverend Lumb and His Doppelgänger
2. Verse Form and Narrative Technique
3. The Epilogue Poems

Appendix I contains the excerpts from Hughes's critical writings,
Appendix II the two interviews.  

The book is still available through second-hand bookstores.


Stuart Hirschberg:
Myth in the Poetry of Ted Hughes

Wolfhound Press, Portmarnock, 1981. 

Cover: Myth in the Poetry of Ted Hughes

As the book title suggests Stuart Hirschberg's book follows the thread of mythology in Hughes's work. He does so by focusing on aspects of Shaman, Trickster and Scapegoat, which he sees as a progression. Thus, the book has the following structure:

Part I: Shaman

 Chapter 1: Primordial Animal Totems
  »Hawk Roosting«
  »An Otter«
  »The Jaguar«
  »Second Glance at a Jaguar«
  »The Bear«
  »The Harvesting«

 Chapter 2: Becoming the Shaman
  »The Wound«
  »Song of a Rat«

Part II: Trickster

 Chapter 3: Crow's Eye View

 Chapter 4: Plucked Crow

Part III: Scapegoat

 Chapter 5: Prometheus: Trickster Redeemed
  Prometheus on his Crag

 Chapter 6: Revenge of the White Goddess
  Cave Birds

 Chapter 7: Closing the Circle: Dionysos to Parzival in Gaudete
The book is still available through second-hand bookstores.


Terry Gifford and Neil Roberts:
Ted Hughes: A Critical Study

Faber & Faber, London, 1981.

Cover: Gifford and Roberts

This is a joint study by two well-known British scholars. The book focuses on Ted Hughes's publications from Crow to Moortown and their background. The authors draw on a rich personal correspondence and a wide range of original material. The book is divided into the following sections:

1. Introduction
2. Finding a Voice
3. Man and Nature
4. Knowledge of Death
5. Crow
6. Gaudete
7. Cave Birds
8. Remains of Elmet and Moortown

The book is still available through second-hand bookstores.  

An article of Terry Gifford's can be read on this site: »A Return to ›The Wound‹ by Ted Hughes«. [On-line essay]


Keith Sagar (ed.):
The Achievement of Ted Hughes

Manchester University Press, Manchester, 1983.

Cover: Achievement of Ted Hughes

Achievement collects a remarkable variety of critical articles on Hughes's work. Much of the material was drawn from the first conference on Ted Hughes's work, organized by Keith Sagar and held at the University of Manchester in 1980. The Achievement of Ted Hughes also holds an appendix with thirty uncollected poems by Ted Hughes! The book contains the following articles (original order):

- Keith Sagar: »Hughes and his Landscape« 
- Seamus Heaney: »Hughes and England«
- Annie Schofield: »Hughes and the Movement«
- Michael Parker: »Hughes and the Poets of Eastern Europe«
- Graham Bradshaw: »Hughes and Shakespeare«
- Michael Sweeting: »Hughes and Shamanism«
- Terry Gifford, Neil Roberts: »Hughes and Two Contemporaries: Peter Redgrove and Seamus Heaney«
- Ekbert Faas: »Chapters of a Shared Mythology: Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes«
- Leonard M. Scigaj: »Oriental Mythology in Wodwo«
- Fred Rue Jacobs: »Hughes and Drama«
- Jarold Ramsey: »Crow, or the Trickster Transformed«
- Annie Schofield: »The Oedipus Theme in Hughes« 
- Graham Bradshaw: »Creative Mythology in Cave Birds«
- Keith Cushman: »Hughes' Poetry for Children«
- Craig Robinson: »The Good Shepherd: Moortown Elegies«
- Keith Sagar: »Fourfold Vision in Hughes« 

The uncollected poems from the appendix are listed in the Bibliography of Ted Hughes's works.  

The book is still available through second-hand bookstores.


Thomas West:
Ted Hughes

Methuen, London, 1985.

A study offering an introduction to Ted Hughes's work.  


Leonard M. Scigaj:
The Poetry of Ted Hughes: Form and Imagination

University of Iowa Press, Iowa, 1986.

Cover: The Poetry of Ted Hughes

Leonard Scigaj's study covers Ted Hughes's work from its beginnings to River. The approach taken is to follow closely biography and publication history. The book has the following structure:

1. A Two-way journey toward Reality (Introduction)

Part I: The Formalist Fifties
2. A Craftsman Calm (The Hawk in the Rain, 1957)
3. Mouths Clamped Well onto the World (Lupercal, 1960)

Part II: The Surreal Sixties
4. Goodbye to the Cenotaphs (Wodwo, 1967)
5. Nothing Escaped Him (Crow, 1970-1971)

Part III: Suffering and Serenity in the Seventies, and the Enlightened Eighties
6. Flying Astride the Earth (Gaudete, 1977)
7. Taking Each Other to the Sun (Cave Birds, 1978)
8. From Emptiness to Brighter Emptiness (Remains of Elmet, 1979)
9. No Wing to Tread Emptiness (Moortown, 1979)
10. Sanctus Sanctus (River, 1983)  

The book is still available through second-hand bookstores.


Dennis Walder:
Ted Hughes

Open University Press, Milton Keynes, 1987.

A study offering an introduction to Hughes's work.  


Craig Robinson:
Ted Hughes as Shepherd of Being

Macmillan, London, 1989.

[The following was kindly supplied by Carol Bere]

Craig Robinson's primary objective in his study is to graph the chronology of the major stages of Ted Hughes's »pursuit of a redefinition of human maturity in our time.« Robinson explores Hughes's use (and rejection) of various accepted models of thought, and the progression, development, and variations of artistic strategies from the early collections of The Hawk in the Rain and Lupercal up to and including the nature and history works such as River and Remains of Elmet. Robinson places Hughes in the Romantic Blakean tradition, comments on the influences of Jung, and applies some of thinking of Martin Heidegger to his interpretations of Hughes's writing (with the caveat that he had found no evidence suggesting that Hughes had read Heidegger). Although there are many areas of difference between Heidegger and Hughes, Robinson notes strong similarities, particularly in their sense of the significance of thought and language: »Language, for him [Heidegger] as for Hughes, is not the closed circuit of mutually interrelated arbitrary signs of the linguistician — it is an ever-closing, but openable path to Being, the reality of what is.« Overall, Robinson considers that Gaudete, Cave Birds, and Moortown are Hughes's greatest achievements, and devotes most of his study to detailed discussion of these sequences.

Part I
The Hawk in the Rain, »The Burning of the Brothel,« and Lupercal

Part II
Wodwo, the Radio Plays, and Crow

Part III
An Approach to Gaudete
Cave Birds
: The Background and a Reading
The Moortown Sequences

Part IV
Nature and History: River, »The Head,« Remains of Elmet, Flowers and Insects.  

Craig Robinson's contribution to The Achievement of Ted Hughes can be read as an additional chapter to this study.

An article of Carol Bere's has been made available for you to read on this site: »›Owning the Facts of His Life‹: Ted Hughes's The Birthday Letters« [On-line essay]


The Nineties

A. E. Dyson (ed.):
Three Contemporary Poets: Thom Gunn, Ted Hughes & R. S. Thomas. A Selection of Critical Essays

Macmillan, Houndmills, 1990.

Cover: Three Contemporary Poets

This casebook collects a range of essays published on Hughes between the late fifties and the early eighties. The other two sections are very much worth reading too.

I Hughes on Himself and Poetry [these are mostly snippets from the Winter Pollen essays and the Faas interviews — CK]
  1. On Violence
  2. On Symbols
  3. On Energy
  4. On Poetic Influence
  5. On Philosophy
  6. On Shamanism
  7. On Crow
  8. On John Crowe Ransom
  9. On the Writing of Oedipus
  10. On the Underworld Plot of Gaudete
  11. A Reply to Critics
  12. On Images in Crow

II Critical Studies
  A. E. Dyson: »Power Thought of Absolutely« (1959)
  M. L. Rosenthal: »Early Hughes« (1967)
  Keith Sagar: »Poet at the Limit: The Place of Lupercal« (1975)
  Geoffrey Thurley: Beyond Positive Values (1974)
  Ekbert Faas: On Crow (1980)
  Terry Gifford & Neil Roberts: On Cave Birds (1981)
  Stuart Hirschberg: »From Gaudete: A Retrospect« (1981)  

As far as I'm aware, the book is still in print.


Leonard M. Scigaj:
Ted Hughes

Twayne, Boston, 1991.

This study traces Ted Hughes's poetic development from its »structuralist, formalist beginnings« to the »ecology of values« of the mid-eighties' collections »that captures a spiritual dimension«. The study »was enriched by [the author's] access to unpublished BBC radio scripts [...] and by letters from Ted and Olwyn Hughes«. It is structured as follows:

Chapter I
Introduction: Mana from an Ecological Heaven

Chapter II
Erecting a Here: The Hawk in the Rain and Lupercal

Chapter III
Aggression and a New Divinity: Wodwo and Crow

Chapter IV
Dissolution and Rebirth: Gaudete and Cave Birds

Chapter V
Language and Ecology: Remains of Elmet, Moortown, and River

Chapter VI
The Direct Grasp: Flowers and Insects and Wolfwatching  

The book is still available through second-hand bookstores.


Nicholas Bishop:
Re-making Poetry: Ted Hughes and a New Critical Psychology

Harvester Wheatsheaf, Hemel Hempstead, 1991.

Nick Bishop's book is based on his PhD thesis. He traces the »death of poetry« and its recreation throughout Ted Hughes's books for adults, with strong reference to »new critical psychological« approaches (some of them more widely ›known‹ and derogatively labelled as ›alternative‹ or ›occult‹). A very interesting read.

The book is structured in the following ten chapters:

Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 2: The Post-war Poetic Environments: The Movement and Central/East European Poetry
Chapter 3: The Hawk in the Rain
Chapter 4: Lupercal
Chapter 5: Wodwo
Chapter 6: Crow
Chapter 7: Gaudete
Chapter 8: Cave Birds: An Alchemical Cave Drama
Chapter 9: Remains of Elmet and Moortown
Chapter 10: River  

The book is still available through second-hand bookstores.


Leonard M. Scigaj (ed.):
Critical Essays on Ted Hughes

G. K. Hall, New York, 1992.

This books collects the following articles (original order):

- Introduction (Leonard M. Scigaj)
- Derek Walcott: »Medusa Face«
- Seamus Heaney: »The New Poet Laureate«
- David Porter: »Beasts/Shamans/Baskin: The Contemporary Aesthetics of Ted Hughes«
- Stan Smith: »Wolf Masks: The Early Poetry of Ted Hughes«
- Ekbert Faas: »Poetics«
- Keith Sagar: »›The Poetry Does Not Matter‹«
- Don McKay: »Animal Music: Ted Hughes's Progress in Speech and Song«
- A. E. Dyson: »Ted Hughes«
- Frederick Grubb: »Thinking Animal: Ted Hughes«
- Daniel Hoffman: »Talking Beasts: The ›Single Adventure‹ in the Poems of Ted Hughes«
- Charles V. Fernandez: »Crow: A Mythology of the Demonic«
- Leonard M. Scigaj: »Genetic Memory and the Three Traditions of Crow«
- Rand Brandes: »The Economy of Flesh in Ted Hughes's Gaudete«
- Neil Roberts and Terry Gifford: »Cave Birds: Hughes's Progress of the Masculine Soul«
- Patricia Boyle Haberstroh: »Historical Landscape in Ted Hughes's Remains of Elmet«
- Carol Bere: »›How Precisely the Job Can Be Done‹: Ted Hughes's Moortown«
- Bo Gustavsson: »Ted Hughes' Quest for a Hierophany: A Reading of River«
- Ann Skea: »Wolf Masks: From Hawk to Wolfwatching« [On-line essay]
- Ted Hughes: »Myth and Education«.

The book should still be available.


Keith Sagar (ed.):
The Challenge of Ted Hughes

St. Martin's Press, New York, 1994.

Cover: Challenge of Ted Hughes

Challenge collects contributions to the second Ted Hughes conference, held at Holly Royde College, Manchester, in July 1990. It gives a good general introduction into the approaches taken by several of the authors (L. Bishop, K. Sagar, T. Gifford, N. Roberts, A. Skea, L. Scigaj) in their own monographs:

- Nick Bishop: »Ted Hughes and the Death of Poetry« 
- Roger Elkin: »Neglected Auguries in Recklings«
- Keith Sagar: »The Evolution of ›The Dove Came‹« 
- Neil Roberts: »Hughes, Narrative and Lyric: An analysis of Gaudete«
- Alexander Davis: »Romanticism, Existentialism, Patriarchy: Hughes and the Visionary Imagination« 
- Nathalie Anderson: »Ted Hughes and the Challenge of Gender« 
- Ann Skea: »Regeneration in Remains of Elmet« [On-line essay]
- Terry Gifford: »Gods of Mud: Hughes and the Post-Pastoral« 
- Rand Brandes: »Hughes, History and the World in Which We Live«
- Leonard M. Scigaj: »Ted Hughes and Ecology: A Biocentric Vision«  

The book is still available through second-hand bookstores.


Ann Skea: Ted Hughes: The Poetic Quest.
University of New England Press, Armidale, 1994.

Cover: Poetic Quest

Ann's book concentrates on three of Ted Hughes's collections: Cave Birds, Remains of Elmet and River. She follows closely the »visionary quest for healing energies« in those three books and provides most enlightening information on structural and poetic devices employed by Hughes — like his use of alchemical symbolism in Cave Birds, which Ann Skea treats on a poem by poem basis. Meticulously researched and a very good read and a most useful reference book.

Ann's book also prompted the publication of Three Books (see bibliography of Ted Hughes's works).

The Poetic Quest has the following structure:

I   The Energies and the Inner World
II  Starting the Journey
III The Perfectibility of Man

Cave Birds
IV  An Alchemical Cave Drama
V  Stage One of the Alchemical Synthesis: Calcination, Mortification, Putrefaction, Nigredo
VI  Stage Two: The Leukosis
VII Stage Three: Solution and Distillation: Sulphur
VIII Stage Four: Conjunction, Crystallisation, Projection

Remains of Elmet
IX ›The Fallen Sun ...‹ (Remains of Elmet 23)
X  ›... The Mothers‹ (Remains of Elmet 10)
XI  ›... at the Dead End of a Wrong Direction‹ (Remains of Elmet 103)
XII ›Before these Chimneys Can Flower Again ...‹ (Remains of Elmet 14)
XIII ›I Swallowed an Alarm Clock‹ (Remains of Elmet 120)

XIV ›The Liturgy of the Earth's Tidings‹ (River 122)


This book can be ordered directly through Ann Skea's website: http://ann.skea.com. There you will also find a wealth of other most informative material, a Ted Hughes timeline, reviews and several on-line essays.   
Ann's most recent project is her analysis of the use of Cabbala and Tarot in Birthday Letters. This has been expanded from her talk »Poetry and Magic« at the Ted Hughes Conference 2000 in Lyon. You can read this work on-line at her site [On-line essay] .


Dorothea Kupferschmidt-Neugeborn:
»Heal into time and other people«: Shamanismus und analytische Psychologie in der poetischen Wirkungsästhetik von Ted Hughes

Narr, Tübingen, 1995.

A German study with its main focus on Gaudete, the author explorer the role of shamanism and analytical psychology in the poetics of Hughes.


Birgit Strotmann:
Natur- und Dichtungskonzeption im lyrischen Gesamtwerk von Ted Hughes

Wissenschaftlicher Verlag Trier, 1995.

Not seen. Apparently a study on Hughes's concepts of nature and poetry on the basis of his works.  


Paul Bentley:
The Poetry of Ted Hughes. Language, Illusion & Beyond

Longman, Harlow, 1998.

Cover: Paul Bentley

Paul Bentley aims at exploring an aspect that the »wealth of criticism [...] has overlooked« or that it »has not gone far enough in trying to account for«: »how the poet's language works, what makes the poems tick as poems, over and above what they appear to be saying«. He structures his book as follows:

  Hughes and the Movement
  The East European Influence
  Hughes and Myth
  Hughes and Shamanism

1. Early Hughes
  ›Archaic Energies‹
  Language, Narcissism and Emptiness
  ›A Utility General-purpose Style‹
  The Influence of Sylvia Plath
  Hughes and Romanticism
  Language and Mysticism

2. Crow
  Carnival and Trickster
  The ›Dialogic‹ Word
  Through the Looking Glass
  Depression: A Style

3. Gaudete
  ›Some Kind of Tunnel‹
  Lens and Landscape
  The Use of Stereotypes
  The Double
  Language and the Double
  ›Adventure Time‹ in Gaudete
  The Double's Defeat
  The Language of Gaudete
  The Grotesque in Gaudete
  The Epilogue Poems and the ›Future Anterior‹

4. Cave Birds
  A Transformation Mystery
  Lacan and Jung
  The Semiotic and the Symbolic
  The Hermetic Vessel as Semiotic Chora
  The Shamanic Event
  The Discourse of Depression
  The Problem of the Feminine

5. Later Hughes
  The Real as Obstacle
  The Real as Trauma
  The Photograph as Real
  An ›Internally Persuasive Discourse‹
  The Imaginary-Real  

6. Hughes as Laureate


Nick Gammage (ed.):
The Epic Poise: A Celebration of Ted Hughes

Faber & Faber, London, 1999.

Originally intended as a collection to celebrate Ted Hughes's seventieth birthday, The Epic Poise collects a large number of short essays, notes, reminiscences, poems and drawings from a wide range of fellow writers, actors, dramatists, critics, friends. Here is the full list:

Part One: On the Poetry and Prose of Ted Hughes

  Karl Miller: Poetry From Cambridge 1952-54

The Hawk in the Rain
  Adam Thorpe: Ted Hughes and The Hawk in the Rain
  Lindsay Clarke: ›Wind‹

  Alan Gould: Lupercal
  James Lasdun: Notes on a Footnote

  Blake Morrison: Wodwo
  Andrew Motion: ›Full Moon and Little Frieda‹
  Martin Booth: Journeying to ›Sunday‹
  W. S. Merwin: ›Pibroch‹
  Jamie McKendrick: Hurrying through the Underworld: ›Second Glance at a Jaguar‹
  Peter Redgrove: ›Gnat-Psalm‹

The Iron Man and Moon-Bells
  Wendy Cope: The Iron Man and the ›Moon-Hops‹
  Susan Hill: Moon-Bells

  Seamus Heaney: Omen and Amen: On ›Littleblood‹
  D. J. Enright: Crow: A Reading
  Leonard Baskin: Six Crows

Season Songs
  Brian Patten: ›A Cranefly in September‹

Moortown and River
  Raymond Briggs: ›Tractor‹
  Roger McGough: ›New Year Exhilaration‹
  Lachlan McKinnon: Moortown and River
  Nick Gammage: ›The Gulkana‹: Recognizing Home
  Medbh McGuckian: Moortimes

Prometheus On His Crag
  Fred Rue Jacobs: ›The black day splits with lightening‹

  Simon Armitage: Discovering Gaudete

Remains of Elmet
  Fay Godwin: Ted Hughes and Elmet
  Anthony Thwaite: Yorkshire and Elmet

What Is the Truth
  Jill Pirrie: A Measure of Grace: The Teacher's Story
  R.J. Lloyd: Portrait of Ted Hughes

Shakespeare and the Goddess of Complete Being
  Donya Feuer: In the Company of Shakespeare and Ted Hughes

Winter Pollen
  Roy Davids: Ted Hughes's ›Sylvia Plath: The Evolution of Sylvia Plath's »Sheep in Fog«‹ — The Onlie Begetter [On-line essay] — this is available from Roy Davids's web site.

Tales From Ovid
  Melvyn Bragg: Two Poets Laureate joined by 2,000 Years
  Marina Warner: Hoopoe

A Choice of Coleridge's Verse
  Kathleen Raine: Ted Hughes and Coleridge

Birthday Letters
  Jon Stallworthy: With Sorrow Doubled
  John Fowles: Ted Hughes: Birthday Letters
  Tom Paulin: ›Your roundy face‹
  Portrait of Ted Hughes by Sylvia Plath
  Claire Tomalin: ›Daffodils‹

Ted Hughes and Theatre
  Peter Brook
  Sir John Gielgud
  Irene Worth
  Lavinia Greenlaw: The Death of Hippolytus
  Tim Supple

  Michael Hofmann: ›Remembering Teheran‹
  Ruth Fainlight: ›To Be Harry‹
  Manuscript of poem by Ted Hughes for Harry Fainlight

Part Two: Poems for Ted Hughes

  Charles Causley: In a Junior School
  Gillian Clarke: The Fisherman
  Roy Davids: Memories, Reflections, Gratitudes [On-line] — available @ Roy Davids Ltd.
  Medbh McGuckian: Shannon's Recovery
  W.S. Merwin: Planh for the Death of Ted Hughes
  Adrian Mitchell. Nine Ways of Looking at Ted Hughes
  Paul Muldoon: Herm
  Les Murray: A Deployment of Fashion
  William Scammell: Goa
  Charles Tomlinson: For T.H.

Part Three: On Ted Hughes

  A. Alvarez: Ted Hughes
  Yehuda Amichai: Ted Hughes's Poetry
  Barrie Cooke: With Ted Hughes
  Terry Gifford: Ted Hughes and South Yorkshire: ›A Motorbike‹
  Miroslav Holub: Ted Hughes in Czech
  Glyn Hughes: Ted Hughes and the Calder Valley
  Michael Morpurgo: Ted Hughes: Children's Champion
  Christopher Reid: Ted Hughes as Reader
  Keith Sagar: A Poet and a Critic
  Penelope Shuttle: Talisman
  Alan Sillitoe: Ted Hughes: A Short Memoir
  Peter Stothard: Election '97 and Ted Hughes's Final Reading
  Stephen Tabor: Ted Hughes on the Page  


Joanny Moulin (ed.):
Lire Ted Hughes: New Selected Poems 1957-1994

Editions du Temps, Paris, 1999.

Cover: Moulin

Lire Ted Hughes is a collection of critical essays on many aspects of his work. It contains articles in English and French.

Joanny Moulin: Avant-propos

Approches Globales
- Antony Easthope: The Poetry of Ted Hughes: Some Reservations
- Keith Sagar: From World of Blood to World of Light
- Lissa Paul: The Children's Ted Hughes
- Nick Gammage: ›Nothing will connect‹: The Quest for Intimacy in Ted Hughes's New Selected Poems

Analyses de Textes
- Adolphe Haberer: Ted Hughes et la cruauté du réel À propos de ›The Howling of Wolves‹
- Michèle Rivoire: Le réel: certitude du poète et démonstration poétique
- Roger Elkin: Breaking Ground: The Uncollected Recklings Poems
- Marie-Jeanne Ortemann: Oiseau-Rébus: noir, passe et gagne!

Etudes Expérimentales
- Terry Gifford: ›Go Fishing‹: An Ecocentric or Egocentric imperative?
- Pénélope Sacks-Galey: Le ‹je(u)› voilé dans la poésie de Ted Hughes
- Alex Davis: Crow, Quest Romance and the Carnivalesque
- Vincent Broqua: Shakespeare, Ted Hughes bruissement et explosion, la contamination linguistique
- Nicholas Bishop: Ted Hughes and the Great Work

Ted Hughes & Sylvia Plath
- Gayle Wurst: The (Non)Americanization of Ted Hughes
- Carol Bere: Birthday Letters: Ted Hughes's Sibylline Leaves  

Ann Skea has published a review of the book on her site: http://ann.skea.com/

Joanny Moulin:
Ted Hughes: New Selected Poems 1957-1994

Didier-Érudition, Paris, 1999.

As the title suggests, this book concentrates mainly on the New Selected Poems which where a set topic in British Studies exams in France at the time. Apparently, this is based on Joanny's Ted Hughes: La Langue Remuneree, published by L'Harmattan Édition-Diffusion. The contents are:


Part I: Heuristics
  The Hawk in the Rain — Encounters with the Real ...
  Lupercal — Poems as Wolf-masks
  Wodwo — the Mirror Stage

Part II: Discursive Myths
  Crow — Cartoon Theology
  Remains of Elmet — the Chinese Compliment
  Earth-Numb — Towards the Theophany

Part III: Ego and Apophrades
  River —- the Reflexive Angler
  Wolfwatching — the Biographical Vein
  Birthday Letters and Other Uncollected Poems  



Joanny Moulin:
Ted Hughes: La Langue Remuneree.

L'Harmattan Édition-Diffusion, Paris, 1999.   

An expanded, French version of the study above. (? )


2000 & Beyond

Keith Sagar:
The Laughter of Foxes. A Study of Ted Hughes

Liverpool University Press, Liverpool, 2000.

Cover: The Laughter of Foxes

Keith Sagar's latest work on Ted Hughes continues from his previous analyses. It is a most readable work which is informed by a wealth of information Keith has gathered through his long acquaintance and friendship with Hughes. You can read the original publisher's announcement on this separate page. The book also contains Ann Skea's Timeline (see above).

A review by Erica Wagner was published in The Times, August 9 2000, Books. You can access it through their archives.

The Laughter of Foxes is structured as follows:

A Timeline of Hughes' Life and Work, by Ann Skea [On-line Resource]

Chapter One: The Mythic Imagination
Chapter Two: From Prospero to Orpheus
Chapter Three: The Evolution of ›The Dove Came‹
Chapter Four: From World of Blood to World of Light  
Appendix: The Story of Crow


Ann Skea:
Birthday Letters: Poetry and Magic. An analysis of Ted Hughes' use of Tarot and Cabbala in Birthday Letters.

[On-line Publication]
Ongoing on-line publication since 2000; Completed 2005.

Ann Skea - Priestess drawing

Ann Skea's Poetry and Magic evolved from the material collected in the context of her contribution to the Ted Hughes 2000 conference in Lyon. In this study, she explores Birthday Letters as a publication constructed according to cabbalistic principles.

You can read Ann's study in full at her site http://ann.skea.com.

1. Introduction
- »Fulbright Scholars«, »Caryatids (1)«, »Caryatids (2)«. includes The Path of the Hanged Man
- MEM - »Fidelity«, »Astringency«, »The Rag Rug«, »The Ventriloquist«

2. The Path of The Fool
- ALEPH - »Fulbright Scholars«, »Chaucer«, »Isis«, »Dreamers«.

3. The Path of The Magician
- BETH - »Caryatids (2)«, »Ouija«, »Ephiphany«, »Fairy Tale«.

4. The Path of The High Priestess
- GIMEL - »Caryatids (1)«, »The Earthenware Head«, »The Gypsy«, »The Blackbird«.

5. The Path of The Empress
- DALETH - »Visit«, »Wuthering Heights«, »A Dream«, »Totem«.

6. The Path of The Emperor
- HE - »Sam«, »The Chipmunk«, »The Minotaur«, »Robbing Myself«.

7. The Path of The Hierophant
- VAU - »The Tender Place«, »Horoscope«, »The Pan«, »Blood and Innocence«.

8. The Path of The Lovers
- ZAIN - »St. Botolph's«, »Flounders«, »The Error«, »Costly Speech«.

9. The Path of The Chariot
- CHETH - »The Shot«, »The Blue Flannel Suir«, »The Lodger«, »The Inscription«.

10. The Path of Justice
- TETH - »Trophies«, »Child's Park«, »Daffodils«, »Night Ride on Ariel«.

11. The Path of The Hermit
- YOD - »18 Rugby Street«, »9 Willow Street«, »The Afterbirth«, »Telos«.

12. The Path of The Wheel of Fortune
- KAPH - »The Machine«, »The Literary Life«, »Setebos«, »Brasilia«.

13. The Path of Strength
- LAMED - »God Help the Wolf after Whom the Dogs Do Not Bark«, »The Bird«, »A Short Film«, »The Cast«.

14. The Path of the Hanged Man
- MEM - »Fidelity«, »Astringency«, »The Rag Rug«, »The Ventriloquist«.

15. The Path of Death
- NUN - »Fate Playing«, »The Badlands«, »The Table«, »Life after Death «.

16. The Path of Temperance
- SAMEKH - »The Owl«, »Fishing Bridge«, »Apprehensions«, »The Hands«.

17. The Path of The Devil
- A'AIN - »A Pink Wool Knitted Dress«, »The 59th Bear , »Dream Life«, »The Prism«.

18. The Path of The Tower
- PE - »Your Paris«, »Grand Canyon«, »Perfect Light«, »The God«.

19. The Path of The Star
- TZADDI - »You Hated Spain«, »Karlsbad Caverns«, »The Rabbit Catcher«, »Freedom of Speech«.

20. The Path of The Moon
- QOPH - »Moonwalk«, »Black Coat«, »Suttee«, »A Picture of Otto«.

21. The Path of The Sun
- RESH - »Drawing«, »Portraits«, »The Bee God«, »Fingers«.

22. The Path of Judgment
- SHIN - »Fever«, »Stubbing Wharfe«, »Being Christlike«, »The Dogs Are Eating Your Mother«.

23. The Path of The World
- TAU - »55 Eltisley«, »Remission«, »The Beach«, »Red«.   


Tracy Brain:
The Other Sylvia Plath

Longman, 2001.

Cover: The Other Sylvia Plath

Contains useful information on the reciprocal influence between Plath and Hughes in several chapters.

Contains a chapter specifically looking at Plath's and Hughes's writing, including Birthday Letters and Howls and Whispers.   

Further details in this review of the book.


Charlie Bell:
Ted Hughes: A Beginner's Guide

Hodder & Stoughton, 2002.

Cover: Ted Hughes: A Beginner's Guide

Further details in a review of this book.  


Joanny Moulin (ed.):
Ted Hughes: Alternative Horizons

Routledge, 2004

Ted Hughes - Alternative Horizons

This volume collects proceedings from the Ted Hughes 2000 Conference in Lyon.

Table of Contents:

- Foreword

- Leonard M. Scigaj: »The Deterministic Ghost In The Machine Of Birthday Letters

- Gayle Wurst: »Words To ›Patch The Havoc‹: The Imagination Of Ted Hughes In The Poetry Of Sylvia Plath.«

- Carol Bere: »Complicated With Old Ghosts: The Assia Poems.«

- Terry Gifford: »›Dead Farms, Dead Leaves‹: Culture As Nature In Remains Of Elmet And Elmet

- Christian La Cassagnère: »Ted Hughes's Crying Horizons: ›Wind‹ And The Poetics Of Sublimity.«

- Ann Skea: »Poetry And Magic.«

- Stephen Enniss: »Self-Revelation, Self-Concealment And The Making Of The Ted Hughes Archive.«

- Axel Nesme: »Drives And Their Vicissitudes In The Poetry Of Ted Hughes.«

- Neil Roberts: »Hughes And The Female Addressee.«

- Joanny Moulin: »Ted Hughes's Anti-Mythic Method.«

- Diane Wood Middlebrook: »In Search Of The Autobiography Of Ted Hughes.«

- Claas Kazzer: »›Earth-Moon‹: Ted Hughes's Books For Children (And Adults).«

- Paul Volsik: »Ted Hughes And The Folk Tale.«


Ann Skea:
»Howls & Whispers: The Averse Sephiroth and the Spheres of the Qlippoth. An analysis of Ted Hughes' use of Cabbala in Howls & Whispers«.

[On-line Publication]
Ongoing since 2005.

Ann Skea - Priestess drawing

Following up on her Poetry and Magic, Ann Skea has now embarked on a study of Howls & Whispers, the limited edition of poems belonging to the context of Birthday Letters.

You can read Ann's study in full at her site http://ann.skea.com.


Ronald Schuchard (ed.):
Fixed Stars Govern A Life: Transforming Poetics And Memory With Emory's Ted Hughes Archive.
Emory internal publication, Emory Across Academe, No. 6, Emory University 2006. 60 pages

Fixed Stars ... Cover

Publishes four contributions to the Emory Conference, with an introduction by Ron Schuchard.


  • "'Fixed Stars Govern A Life': Transforming Poetics And Memory With Emory's Ted Hughes Archive," by Ronald Schuchard; pp. 3-8
  • "Hughes and Eliot: Possession," by Ronald Schuchard; pp. 11-23
  • "Ted Hughes's Memory," by Gavin Drummond; 25-24
  • "The Ecology of Ted Hughes: Wolfwatching -- the Final Poetic Statement," by Terry Gifford; pp. 37-45
  • "Hughes, Plath, and the Three Caryatids," by Diane Middlebrook, pp. 47-56.



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