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1001 The Iron Man
Added on 14th August 2020

Author Ted Hughes
First published 1968
Publisher Faber & Faber, London, UK

Family Environment and nature
1001

The giant iron man appears from nowhere attracting suspicion and mistrust until a small boy befriends him - a classic story, part modern fairytale and part science fiction.

Story

When a giant “metal man” mysteriously appears and sets about eating all the tractors in the countryside, the local farmers lure him into a pit and bury him underground. The Iron Man frees himself, but the locals aren’t happy until a young boy named Hogarth becomes friends with the Iron Man and convinces the locals to let him live in the scrap-metal yard. When an alien monster from outer space - the Space-Bat-Angel-Dragon – threatens the future of the world only the Iron Man can possibly stop it.

Why we chose it

Part modern fairytale and part science-fiction, The Iron Man’s themes of friendship and betrayal, and human’s impact on the environment are as relevant today as they were in the 1960s.

Where it came from

British writer Ted Hughes (1930 – 1998), is better known for his poetry, but The Iron Man began life as a bedtime story for his own children. The original illustrations were drawn by George Adamson who had at one time been an official war artist during World War Two.

Where it went next

The Iron Man has been adapted into both a musical and a film.

Associated stories

A sequel, The Iron Woman by Ted Hughes, was published in 1993

Added on 14th August 2020

Author Ted Hughes
First published 1968
Publisher Faber & Faber, London, UK

Family Environment and nature
1001