Edward James Hughes (17 August 1930 – 28 October 1998) was an English poet and children's writer. Critics frequently rank him as one of the best poets of his generation, and one of the twentieth century's greatest writers. He served as Poet Laureate from 1984 until his death. In 2008 The Times ranked Hughes fourth on their list of "The 50 greatest British writers since 1945".Hughes was married to American poet Sylvia Plath from 1956 until her suicide in 1963 at the age of 30. Some feminists and some American admirers of Plath, among others, blamed him for her death after the revelation of letters written by Plath between 18 February 1960 and 4 February 1963, which claim that Hughes beat Plath two days before she had a miscarriage in 1961, and that he also told Plath he wished that she was dead. His last poetic work, Birthday Letters (1998), explored their complex relationship. These poems make reference to Plath's suicide, but none addresses directly the circumstances of her death. A poem discovered in October 2010, "Last Letter", describes what happened during the three days before her death.