34 Facts that Made Us Fall in Love with Tragic Author, Sylvia Plath
34 Facts that Made Us Fall in Love with Tragic Author, Sylvia Plath

34 Facts that Made Us Fall in Love with Tragic Author, Sylvia Plath

D.G. Hewitt - July 14, 2019

34 Facts that Made Us Fall in Love with Tragic Author, Sylvia Plath
A handwritten letter penned by Plath to an old friend. Wikimedia Commons.

2. Plath’s legacy lives on – and original manuscripts and items from her life are highly sought-after by fans

Today, Sylvia Plath is remembered as one of America’s great writers. Above all, she is seen as a pioneer of ‘confessional poetry’. She is also seen by many as a feminist icon. In 2018, Plath’s daughter Freida auctioned a number of items from her mother’s life. These included a tartan skirt from her undergraduate years at Smith College, an old typewriter she used throughout her 20s, and a draft copy of ‘The Bell Jar’, which sold for $125,000. Tragically, Plath’s son Nicholas Hughes, also a poet, committed suicide in 2009, aged 47.

34 Facts that Made Us Fall in Love with Tragic Author, Sylvia Plath
One of Sylvia Plath’s works showcasing her skills as a visual artist. Wikimedia Commons.

1. In recent years, Plath’s other talents, including her skills as an artist, have started to be recognized

In 2017, the Smithsonian National Gallery held an exhibition of Plath’s art, showcasing her other side. Before embracing poetry full-time, Plath had originally planned on being an artist. In fact, she enrolled in a major in art at Smith College before switching to study English after just one academic year. However, she carried on making art throughout her life, including during her troubled years in England. The 2017 exhibition was the first major retrospective of her collages and paintings, including several self-portraits, highlighting her love of the abstract.

 

Where did we find this stuff? Here are our sources:

“A Sylvia Plath Retrospective Finally Puts Her Visual Art on Display.” Vice.com, July 2017.

“FBI files on Sylvia Plath’s father shed new light on poet.” The Guardian, August 2012.

“Who Bought Sylvia Plath’s Stuff?” New York Times, April 2018.

“Sylvia Plath Looked Good in a Bikini – Deal With It.” Electric Literature.

“How black magic killed Sylvia Plath.” The Guardian, September 1999.

“Sylvia Plath’s Last Letters.” The New Yorker, October 2018.

“Sylvia Plath.” The Poetry Foundation.

“Sylvia Plath in love: A mesmerising portrait of the tragic poet as a young, sexually uninhibited sun-loving party girl – told by the lovers she discarded for Ted Hughes.” Daily Mail, January 2013.

“The Tragic Relationship of Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes.” Literary Ladies Guide, March 2018.

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