Ann Skea


University of New England Press, 1994.

This book examines Cave Birds, Remains of Elmet and River, and shows how Hughes used myth, mysticism and alchemy as a magical, transforming power in his poetry.

The author draws on her own correspondence with Hughes and on previously unpublished material from original manuscripts. She examines Hughes’ own beliefs, as expressed in his extensive prose writing and, she discusses many of Hughes’ poems in detail.

Illustrations from alchemical manuscripts and from the works of William Blake complement the text. There is also an informative bibliography, an index of poems and a good general index.

“I was highly impressed by the thorough and penetrating account of the poems concerned. It showed me that my own reading of them had been very shallow indeed. The grasp of both local details and of the broader conception of each book in turn convinced me utterly”. (Extract from a letter to the author from Christopher Reid, former Poetry Editor at Faber and Faber Ltd., Ted Hughes’ British publishers)

This book is currently out of print but a few copies are still available from the author (e-mail: ann@skea.com). It can also be read on these pages as an e-book

© Ann Skea 2021. For permission to quote any part of this document contact Dr Ann Skea at ann@skea.com

Return to The Ted Hughes Homepage for more options

Go to Ann Skea’s Homepage

Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional