Sylvia Plath's Son Commits Suicide

46 years after she killed herself, Nicholas Hughes hangs himself
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 23, 2009 9:02 AM CDT
Sylvia Plath's Son Commits Suicide
Sylvia Plath, who killed herself in 1963. This month her son committed suicide at his home in Alaska.   (Wikimedia)

The son of writers Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes committed suicide last week, hanging himself at his home in Fairbanks, Alaska, following a battle with depression, reports the Times of London. Nicholas Hughes, 47, was a professor of fisheries and ocean sciences but had recently left his position to take up pottery. His mother killed herself in 1963, when he was still a toddler, after his father left her for another woman.

Nicholas Hughes' suicide adds another grim chapter to the story of one of modern literature's grimmest families. Six years after Plath's suicide—on March 23, 1969, 40 years ago today—Ted Hughes' second wife, Assia Wevill, killed herself in a similar manner, by turning on the gas in the oven without lighting it, murdering their daughter in the process. While doctors accept that depression can be inherited, a family friend said last night that "it would be wrong to think of Nick as some kind of inevitably tragic figure." (More Sylvia Plath stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.