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Ted Hughes (1930-98)

Rain-charm for the Duchy and other Laureate poems 1992

27.2 x 18.3 x 0.8 cm (book measurement (conservation)) | RCIN 1006837

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  • This volume of poetry, first published in 1992, collected all of the Laureate poems Hughes had written since the start of his laureateship in 1984. This copy is one of seven presented by Hughes to Queen Elizabeth II and her family, it is inscribed by the author. It is one of the initial special edition run of 280 copies.

    In his presentation letter to Queen Elizabeth II, accompanying the volumes, Hughes wrote that Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, had requested that he publish all his laureate poems in one volume. He felt that 'I was pleased to see that in fact they make quite a long book, as books of poems go. The publishers have been, as usual, rather dilatory, but here at last is the special edition – rather handsome, I think.'

    Ted Hughes was born in Mytholmroyd in West Yorkshire and brought up in South Yorkshire. He began writing poetry when at school and continued at Cambridge. His first wife, Sylvia Plath, encouraged Hughes to submit his manuscript The Hawk in the Rain for a competition and it was published in 1957. He continued writing poetry in which he explored the natural world and mythical themes. He also wrote many works for children.
    In 1984 he was appointed Poet Laureate and during this time he formed a close friendship with Queen Elizabeth, when Queen Mother, to whom he presented a number of manuscripts and volumes of his poems. He was awarded the Order of Merit in 1998, shortly before he died.

    One of seven copies presented to Queen Elizabeth II and her family by the author, 27 December 1991

  • Measurements

    27.2 x 18.3 x 0.8 cm (book measurement (conservation))

    27.5 x 1.0 cm (book measurement (inventory))

    28.0 x 2.0 cm (book in slip case)

  • Other number(s)
    Alternative title(s)

    Rain-charm for the Duchy and other laureate poems / by Ted Hughes.