I had a mad crush on Sylvia Plath at one time. This fascination I’m sure arose in part from the fact of her suicide: a beautiful and brilliant young woman of 30 sticks her head in an oven while her infant children sleep in an adjoining room. I tried memorizing several of her poems, e.g. Daddy and Lady Lazarus, and I’ve listened to her reciting — in what I felt was a slightly affected sophisticated tone — her own poetry.
The new tragic irony now is that one-year old, Nicholas Hughes, asleep in the next room while his mother had her head in the oven has now committed suicide himself by hanging at the age of 47. He was a successful fisheries biologist, apparently suffering from depression for many years. Read about it here.
Another curious, and tragic, irony is that Assia Wevill, the woman who motivated Sylvia’s suicide by having an affair with Sylvia’s husband, Ted Hughes, also committed suicide at the age of 30, along with her 4-year old daughter even!, by using a gas oven, similar to Sylvia.
What can one say? It runs in the families?