Keith Sagar

Very sad news: Keith Sagar died unexpectedly from a heart attack on Tuesday.

Oak leaf on sea sand

These very sad news just came in: Keith Sagar died suddenly and unexpectedly from a heart attack in the early hours of Tuesday 15th October. He will be greatly missed. Keith was born in 1934. Among those he leaves behind are his wife and two children.

Keith was always very generous and supportive to anyone who was seriously interested in Ted Hughes's work. He was my first contact in the "Hughes Mafia", back in 1998 (I believe), when he invited me to visit him in his home in Clitheroe. Very quickly, we sat in the garden and talked about finches, Ted and current research. Back then, research into Ted Hughes's children's books was often sneered at as a subject 'not worthy' of academic study. Keith meanwhile supported me greatly, providing copies of essays and limited editions which were impossible to get in Germany at the time.

Back then I came back with a teasure trove of material and a limited edition of Crow (he had a spare copy for sale) which is sitting opposite on the bookshelve as I write.

Over the years, he repeatedly told me of and pointed me to little-known texts or let me see copies of his MSS collection to work on, invited me to conferences and projects he organized or participated in.

Keith's opinion and criticism were always valuable – and he was someone whom one could disagree with, without this having an effect on how he approached you. His support even extended to scholars whose opinion he did not share at all, as if, above all he cherished the exisitence of a great variety of voices on Hughes's life and work.

I'll miss him.


Note: If you feel like posting your memories of Keith here, please let me know.

You can read several of Keith's essays and a poem in memory of Ted on this site. His own website,, to which he added several essays just weeks ago contains much more material. He was also author of many critical publications – just do a search of the Criticism section here, for a list of most of them.