Smith College

Sylvia Plath

Born in Boston, Massachusetts, Sylvia Plath grew up in Winthrop. She was raised by her mother after her father died of complications from diabetes when she was eight. Plath was educated at Smith College and at Newnham College of Cambridge University. In 1953, after serving a month as a college guest editor at the New York fashion magazine Mademoiselle, she had a breakdown, and was unwisely subjected to electric shock therapy. She then attempted suicide and was hospitalized for six months, events she later adapted for her novel The Bell Jar (1963).