Theo Hobson Theo Hobson

Ted Hughes vs Philip Larkin – whose team are you on?

Are you a Phillist or a Teddist? A Phillist is not a Philistine in a hurry, but one who warms to the sensibility of Philip Larkin. A Teddist prefers that of Ted Hughes. Recent BBC documentaries on each poet have clarified the choice. Whose vision of life is more convincing and compelling – the glum librarian or the dashing naturalist who made the ladies swoon (in and out of ovens)?

To define their difference it’s tempting to call Hughes a Romantic, and Larkin an anti-Romantic.

Already a subscriber? Log in

Keep reading with a free trial

Subscribe and get your first month of online and app access for free. After that it’s just £1 a week.

There’s no commitment, you can cancel any time.


Unlock more articles


Theo Hobson
Written by
Theo Hobson
Theo Hobson is the author of seven books, including God Created Humanism: the Christian Basis of Secular Values

Topics in this article


Don't miss out

Join the conversation with other Spectator readers. Subscribe to leave a comment.

Already a subscriber? Log in