Ted Hughes on Hedgehogs

In  Letters of Ted Hughes ( edited by Christopher Reid) you´ll find a letter from Hughes to Edna Wholey in which he says he hears

“a commotion in the hedge, and after a while, out trundled a hedgehog, merry as you like, and obviously out for a good time. I thought he might make a jolly companion for an evening so I brought him in. After a while I noticed he had disappeared and later heard a noise just like the sobbing of a little child, but very faint, and it continued for long enough. I traced it to a pile of boxes, and there was my comrade, with his nose pressed in a pool of tears, and his face all wet, and snivelling and snuffling his heart out. I could have kissed him for compassion. I don’t know why I’m so sympathetic towards hedgehogs.”

Did you know that you can stay in the house that Ted Hughes was born in? It’s located in Mytholmroyd  in West Yorkshire, England, Check it out here. Unfortunately, I don’t think they can guarantee the company of any hedgehogs, but there is an annual Festival that you can attend. If rare books and archives excite you, as they do me, you can always make the trip to Emory University in Atlanta.  The Rose Library holds an impressive collection of Hughes’s papers, you might even be able to find the letter quoted above. The library also holds Ted’s private library, as well as books formerly owned by Sylvia Plath.

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