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Ted Hughes is unquestionably one of the major twentieth-century English poets. Radical and challenging, each new title produced something of a shock to British literary culture. Only now is the breadth of his literary range and cultural influence being recognised. As well as his poetry and stories, writing for children, translations and prose essays and reviews, in recent years Hughes's own letters have received great critical attention. This Companion consolidates Hughes's life, writings and reputation. International experts from a variety of literary fields here confront the key questions posed by Hughes's work. New archival evidence is provided for fresh readings of his oeuvre with close attention to language, forms and the function of myth. Featuring a chronology and guide to further reading, this book is a valuable and insightful companion for those studying and reading Hughes in the context of his role in the development of modern poetry.