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Edward James 'Ted' Hughes, 1960-2013 and undated

Reference Code: GBR/1058/COO/2

Scope and Contents

From the Fonds:

The collection consists of correspondence, poetry and prose received by Barrie Cooke and original artwork produced by him. The principal correspondents are Seamus Heaney, Ted Hughes, Jean Valentine and John Montage, and their letters along with their poetry and prose are to be found in the archive. There is also a large series of correspondence from poets and artists resident in Ireland, the United Kingdom and America, often consisting of just 1 or 2 letters from each correspondent but showing Cooke's wide circle of friends and interests.


  • Creation: 1960-2013 and undated


Conditions Governing Access

The Ted Hughes material is open for consultation but photographs may not be taken without the permission of the Ted Hughes Estate. Those wishing to publish any material that is the copyright of the Ted Hughes Estate should seek permission from the Estate prior to publication. The Archivist can provide further information and contact details for the Estate.

Biographical / Historical

Born in 1930 in Mytholmroyd in West Yorkshire, Ted Hughes came up to Pembroke in 1951 to study English. He transferred to Archaeology and Anthropology in his third year. In June 1956 he married the American poet Sylvia Plath, who took her own life in 1963. They had 2 children, Frieda Rebecca and Nicholas Farrar (1962-2009). In the summer of 1962, Hughes began an affair with Assia Wevill, with whom he would have a daughter, Alexandra Tatiana Elise (nicknamed Shura). Wevill took her own life and that of their daughter Shura in March 1969. In August 1970 he married Carol Orchard, who survives him. Most well-known as a poet, Hughes was also a translator, dramatist, children's writer and environmentalist, being one of the original trustees of the Westcountry Rivers Trust. He was awarded an OBE in 1977 and was appointed Poet Laureate in 1984, holding the office until his death in 1998. He was also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. Hughes was a very close friend of Cooke's and they regularly fished together as well as collaborating on a number of projects.


0.5 archive box(es)

Related Materials

See also GBR/1058/COO/5/35, material relating to Hughes's wife Carol; GBR/1058/COO/5/36, material relating to Hughes's daughter Frieda; GBR/1058/COO/5/37, material relating to Hughes's son Nicholas; GBR/1058/COO/5/38, material relating to Hughes's sister Olwyn; GBR/1058/COO/3/2/8, 20-22, material relating to John Montague; GBR/1058/COO/4/2/3, material relating to Jean Valentine; GBR/1058/COO/5/40/1, material relating to a documentary about Hughes; GBR/1058/COO/5/60, material relating to Eilat Negev. Hughes visited Cooke and Valentine in 1991 and his entry in their guestbook can be seen at GBR/1058/COO/8/5.

Repository Details

Part of the Pembroke College Library Repository

Pembroke College
Cambridge CB2 1RF United Kingdom
+44 (0)1223 764151