Biography of Sylvia Plath:
Sylvia Plath Birth:
She was born in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts on October 27, 1932 to Otto Emile Plath and Aurelia Schober Plath--both immigrants. Her father was a professor of German and Biology (specializing in bees) at Boston University (he published a book on bumblebees). He died of diabetes in 1940, when Sylvia was eight).
Her father was an authoritarian; Sylvia wrote about her hatred for her mother in her diary (who worked two jobs after her father died).
Sylvia Plath Death:
Her husband had left her for another woman, so in the last days before her death, she burned a great deal of her unfinished works. In one of her final poems, she wrote: "Dying / is an art, like everything else. / I do it exceptionally well."
Then, on February 11, 1963, she gassed herself. She was buried in Yorkshire.
Sylvia Plath Education:
She studied at Gamaliel Bradford Senior High School (now Wellesley High School) and at the Smith College (1950-1955). Plath later attended Newnham College, Cambridge (Fulbright Scholarship).
Sylvia Plath Marriage:
She met Ted Hughes in 1956 (while she was attending Cambridge). She described him as a "big, dark, hunky boy, the only one there huge enough for me." Although they had a stormy relationship (and Plath was troubled by his infidelity), they had two children together: Frieda Rebecca (1960) and Nicholas Farrar (1962).
Her poetry also evolved during this time period--with influence from Ted Hughes, Dylan Thomas and Gerald Manley Hopkins.