Sylvia Plath

Standard Name: Plath, Sylvia
Birth Name: Sylvia Plath
Married Name: Sylvia Hughes
SP was primarily a poet, and most famously a confessional poet, although she also wrote a novel, a radio play, short stories and a book for children. She is best known for the poems she wrote in the last eighteen months that she lived. Her life story, complete with her suicide at the age of thirty, tends to overshadow her literary achievement, although critics of recent decades have made strides towards preserving her literary contribution and promoting its value.


Connections Sort descending Author name Excerpt
Education Betty Miller
At this point Betty entered St Paul's School for Girls and then (having fallen ill) had a convalescent year at a Catholic boarding school cum sanatorium at Berck-Plage near Boulogne.
Miller, Sarah, and Betty Miller. “Introduction”. On the Side of the Angels, Virago, p. vii - xviii.
Sylvia Plath later...
Family and Intimate relationships Anne Stevenson
He came back into her adult life in September 1953, and finally the Great Marriage Problem seemed settled.
Contemporary Authors, Autobiography Series. Gale Research.
9: 279
American boyfriends tried to dissuade her, but she ignored them boneheadedly.
Contemporary Authors, Autobiography Series. Gale Research.
9: 279
Friends, Associates Anne Sexton
AS made many friends among her fellow poets: Kumin , Soter , William DeWitt Snodgrass , Sylvia Plath (whose death affected her deeply), George Starbuck and James Wright (who were also her lovers), and Anthony Hecht
Friends, Associates Fay Weldon
Their social circle in north London included many writers and painters, including Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath , David and Assia Wevill , Kingsley Amis and Elizabeth Jane Howard , Bernice Rubens , psychologist R. D. Laing
Friends, Associates Ruth Fainlight
RF and her husband met Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath in 1961, on the occasion of Hughes's winning the Hawthornden Prize, as Alan Sillitoe had done the previous year. The foursome first met, Fainlight recalled...
Health Deborah Levy
About 2008 DL felt close to breakdown. [L]ife was very hard and I was at war with my lot and simply couldn't see where there was to get to, she wrote later in the opening...
Intertextuality and Influence Carol Ann Duffy
The book was highly derivative. Though she had just discovered the poems of Pablo Neruda , CAD describes the contents of the volume as a mixture of Keats and Sylvia Plath and Dylan Thomas and...
Intertextuality and Influence Judith Kazantzis
JK began writing at the age of seven.
Blain, Virginia et al., editors. The Feminist Companion to Literature in English: Women Writers from the Middle Ages to the Present. Yale University Press; Batsford.
She wrote steadily until she was twenty-one, then produced only about seven more poems until, in the early 1970s, she discovered both the women's movement and the...
Intertextuality and Influence Ella Wheeler Wilcox
In 1951, however, the poet Louise Bogan set out to recuperate her as the founder of a whole feminine school of rather daring verse on the subject of feminine and masculine emotions.
Watts, Emily Stipes. The Poetry of American Women from 1632 to 1945. University of Texas Press.
Emily Stipes Watts
Intertextuality and Influence Deborah Levy
This book has four sections, each titled from a reason for writing, Political Purpose, Historical Impulse, Sheer Egoism, and Aesthetic Enthusiasm. The first and last describe a period of near-breakdown that...
Intertextuality and Influence Edna St Vincent Millay
Thomas Hardy (as reported by Elinor Wylie ) is believed to have said her poems were one of the only two great things in the United States, the other being the skyscraper.
Milford, Nancy. Savage Beauty: The Life of Edna St. Vincent Millay. Random House.
xiii, 290
Intertextuality and Influence Emily Brontë
Feminist literary critic Sandra M. Gilbert responded to both Emilies in one of her poetic collections: Emily's Bread (1984), and Anne Carson to EB , her favourite author and main fear, which I mean to...
Intertextuality and Influence Ann Oakley
The authors use as epigraph a passage from Sylvia Plath 's Three Women: a Poem for Three Voices.
Oakley, Ann et al. Miscarriage. Fontana.
They then begin with some shocking statistics. Nobody knows what proportion miscarriages bear to live...
Intertextuality and Influence Brigid Brophy
One of the twelve sections is no more fifty words. The novel's decadent style inhabits the minds of several characters, particularly that of the tall, fragile, perpetually exhausted but secretly sexually voracious Antonia Mount. Her...
Intertextuality and Influence Gillian Clarke
Her volume opens with a poem, Baby Sitting, which voices a guilty unwillingness to respond to a child's demands; M. Wynn Thomas thinks this a response to the angrier, rawer Morning Song which opens...


1866: The Royal Society of Arts established a scheme...

National or international item


The Royal Society of Arts established a scheme (believed to be the first in the world) for setting up commemorative plaques on buildings associated with famous people.
Quinn, Ben. “Plaque blues. Cuts hit heritage scheme”. Guardian Weekly, p. 16.

Early 1936: The Faber Book of Modern Verse, edited by...

Writing climate item

Early 1936

The Faber Book of Modern Verse, edited by Michael Roberts (who was put forward for this task by T. S. Eliot ), set out to define the modern movement, not just chronologically but according...

1948: The University of London appointed Professor...

Building item


The University of London appointed Professor Lilian Penson vice-chancellor, the first time a woman held this position at a British university.

18 October 1998: Ten days before Poet Laureate Ted Hughes...

Writing climate item

18 October 1998

Ten days before Poet Laureate Ted Hughes died, the Sunday Times carried his poem entitled The Offers, which he had excluded from both his books published this year, Birthday Letters (his last major collection)...

28 October 1998: Ted Hughes, Poet Laureate and widower of...

Writing climate item

28 October 1998

Ted Hughes , Poet Laureate and widower of Sylvia Plath , died.
The Ted Hughes Homepage.

10 September 2003: Guardian Unlimited Books named as Site of...

Writing climate item

10 September 2003

Guardian Unlimited Books named as Site of the Week a website entitled Poetry Landmarks of Britain: a map of poetic assocations plotted on an interactive map of Britain, searchable by region or category.

May 2009: The BBC aimed to demonstrate that poetry...

Writing climate item

May 2009

The BBC aimed to demonstrate that poetry is for everyone in a series launched this month: it succeeded in that sales of poetry soared in Britain.

6 October 2010: A previously unknown poem by Ted Hughes,...

Writing climate item

6 October 2010

A previously unknown poem by Ted Hughes , Last Letter, became available to the public when it was read on the BBC 's Channel 4 News by Jonathan Pryce .
Kennedy, Maev. “Unknown poem reveals Ted Hughes’ torment over death of Sylvia Plath”. The Guardian.


Plath, Sylvia. A Winter Ship. Tragara Press, 1960.
Plath, Sylvia. Ariel. Faber and Faber.
Plath, Sylvia. Ariel. Harper and Row.
Plath, Sylvia. Ariel: The Restored Edition. Faber and Faber, 2004.
Plath, Sylvia. Collected Poems. Editor Hughes, Ted, Faber and Faber, 1981.
Plath, Sylvia. Crossing the Water. Faber and Faber.
Plath, Sylvia. Crystal Gazer and Other Poems. Rainbow Press.
Plath, Sylvia. “Ennui”. Blackbird: an online journal of literature and the arts, Vol.
, No. 2.
Plath, Aurelia, and Sylvia Plath. “Introduction”. Letters Home: Correspondence 1950-1963, Harper and Row, 1975, pp. 3-40.
Hughes, Ted, and Sylvia Plath. “Introduction”. Johnny Panic and the Bible of Dreams, Harper and Row, 1979, pp. 1-9.
Hughes, Ted, and Sylvia Plath. “Introduction”. Collected Poems, Faber and Faber, pp. 13-17.
Plath, Sylvia. Johnny Panic and the Bible of Dreams. Editor Hughes, Ted, Harper and Row, 1979.
Plath, Sylvia. Letters Home: Correspondence 1950-1963. Editor Plath, Aurelia, Harper and Row.
Plath, Sylvia. Letters of Sylvia Plath. Editors Kukil, Karen and Peter K. Steinberg, Faber and Faber, 2017.
Plath, Sylvia. Sylvia Plath’s Selected Poems. Editor Hughes, Ted, Faber and Faber.
Plath, Sylvia, and Quentin Blake. The Bed Book. Faber and Faber.
Plath, Sylvia. The Bell Jar. Heinemann.
Plath, Sylvia. The Bell Jar. Harper and Row.
Plath, Sylvia. The Colossus and Other Poems. Alfred A. Knopf, 1967.
Plath, Sylvia. The Colossus: Poems. Heinemann.
Plath, Sylvia. The Journals of Sylvia Plath. Editors Hughes, Ted and Frances McCullough, Dial.
Plath, Sylvia. Three Women: A Monologue for Three Voices. Turret Books, 1968.
Plath, Sylvia. Winter Trees. Faber and Faber.