Skip to main content

Hughes: the papers of Olwyn Marguerite Hughes

Reference Code: GBR/1058/HUO

Scope and Contents

The papers consist of material collected by Olwyn Hughes, mainly during the period she acted as literary agent for her brother Ted Hughes. Papers include copies of early appearances of many of Ted Hughes's and Sylvia Plath's poems and essays in literary magazines and newspapers and many newspaper cuttings relating to the work and lives of Ted Hughes, Sylvia Plath and their children. The collection contains no original manuscript material by Ted Hughes or Sylvia Plath.


  • Creation: 1958 - 2020


Biographical / Historical

Olwyn Hughes was born in 1928, the middle child of William and Edith Hughes. Gerald, her older brother emigrated to Australia. Ted, her younger brother, was the Poet Laureate, translator, dramatist, children's writer and environmentalist that she would work with for much of her life. She studied English Literature at Queen Mary’s College, University of London, graduating in 1950. After graduation, Olwyn moved to Paris and had a number of jobs, including working for the Parisian theatre and film agency, Martonplay. In 1963 she returned to England after the death of poet Sylvia Plath, her sister-in-law, to support her brother, Ted, in looking after his 2 children from that marriage. She would go on to become his agent and to manage the works of her late sister-in-law, Sylvia. In 1971, Olwyn and Ted established The Rainbow Press. Their first publication was Sylvia Plath's 'Crystal Gazer'. The Press produced many fine editions of Ted's poetry. In 1979 Olwyn married Richard Thomas; they divorced shortly afterwards. Olwyn died in January 2016.


0.08 cubic metre(s)

Language of Materials


Spanish; Castilian



External Documents


Shortly after the collection arrived at Pembroke College in 2012 it was sorted and listed by an undergraduate studying English at the College. It is not known how much of the original order was preserved during that work, but the current arrangement of the papers mostly maintains the arrangement of 2012 and the Archivist is grateful for that initial work.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The papers were donated to the College by Olwyn Hughes in May 2012.

Related Materials

See GBR/1058/COO, the papers of Barrie Cooke, GBR/1058/ADA, the papers of George Adamson and GBR/1058/WIC/2/1, the papers of Colin Wilcockson for additional Ted Hughes material.

October 2022
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Pembroke College Library and Archive Repository

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