Life and Career
Born in Boston Massachusetts on October 27, 1923 to mother Aurelia Schober, and father Otto Plath. At the young age of eight her father passed away due to complications related to his diabetes. Her father's death had a large impact on her and her style of poetry, he was very authoritative in her life causing her to dislike him some, as seen in some of her work, though his death impacted her work in different ways. She originally started writing by keeping a journal, which she started at eleven. She first began by having some of her works published in local newspapers and magazines. Just after high school, in 1950, she got her first national publication in Christian Science Monitor. Due to her success from that she was given a scholarship to Smith College and began attending there in 1950. By the summer of 1953 she was given a spot from Mademoiselle as a guest editor on their magazine. Shortly after her work there was over she attempted suicide aided by sleeping pills, though failed and spent a year in a mental health facility before returning back to Smith and graduating in 1955. After this she was given a Fulbright scholarship and went to Cambridge university in England. While there she attended a party and met fellow poet, Ted Hughes, they later got married in 1956, though their relationship had constant strain. A year later she went back to Massachusetts and studied with Robert Lowell and Anne Sexton, peoples who's work hers is often conspired to as they wrote in a more confessional style. While there she also took up a teaching job at Smith, though she was only there for a year before returning back to England. In 1960 her first collection of poetry was published titled The Colossus. She also gave birth to her first of two children, a daughter by the name of Freida, then two years later in 1962 she gave birth to her son, Nicholas. During this time she also found out that Hughes was having an affair with Assia Gutmann Wevill, they soon after got a divorce and Plath fell even further into depression. She spent the next year writing many poems and her only novel, The Bell Jar, based on her life and a young ladies mental break down. In 1963 on February 11 she wrote a note to her downstairs neighbor instructing him to call the doctor and then proceeded to kill herself with the aid of her gas oven. After her death her ex husband found her works and put them together in the collection of Ariel. There were also other collection of her works put together after her death, though Ariel has been and remains the most popular. The works of Ariel were given a Pulitzer prize, making her the first poet to be awarded this after death.