March 23, 2009

Sylvia Plath’s son commits suicide

Nicholas Hughes, the 47-year-old son of late poets Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath, has hanged himself at his home in Alaska, Britain's Guardian newspaper said.

His sister Frieda confirmed the suicide in a statement to The Times of London newspaper.

Nicholas and Frieda's 30-year-old mother was separated from Ted Hughes when she killed herself by inhaling gas from the kitchen stove in February 1963 while her children slept.

Ted Hughes, whose mistress gassed herself and the daughter she had with Hughes six years after his wife's death, died in 1998 of a heart attack. He was 68.

The Guardian said Nicholas Hughes had been a science professor at the University of Alaska Fairbanks until shortly before he died. He was unmarried, had no children and had recently left the university to set up his own pottery workshop.

It is with profound sorrow that I must announce the death of my brother, Nicholas Hughes, who died by his own hand on Monday, March 16, 2009, at his home in Alaska. He had been battling depression for some time, Frieda Hughes said in a statement. His lifelong fascination with fish and fishing was a strong and shared bond with our father (many of whose poems were about the natural world.) He was a loving brother, a loyal friend to those who knew him and, despite the vagaries that life threw at him, he maintained an almost childlike innocence and enthusiasm for the next project or plan.