Shortly after the publication of The Bell Jar, Plath fell into a clinical depression. A month later, on February 11, 1963, she killed herself, putting her head in the oven and turning on the gas. Two years later Ariel, a collection of some of her last poems, was published; this was followed by Crossing the Water and Winter Trees in 1971, and, in 1981, The Collected Poems appeared, edited by Ted Hughes.
Plath published The Bell Jar, a strongly autobiographical novel that became her best-known prose work. Originally published under a pseudonym, the book is a first-person account of a young woman’s mental breakdown and suicide attempt, closely mirroring Plath’s own experiences.
Plath earned a scholarship to Smith College in Massachusetts and entered the school in 1950. In 1953, during the summer following her junior year, she returned from a stay in New York City where she had been a student ``guest editor'' at Mademoiselle Magazine. Plath nearly succeeded in killing herself by swallowing sleeping pills She spent six months in a private hospital, where she received electroconvulsive therapy. http://encarta.msn.com/encyclopedia_761557182/Sylvia_Plath.html
Plath was born in Boston, Massachusetts, where she grew up. Her father, Otto Plath, was a professor of biology at Boston University and a specialist in bees. An odd man, he would only give his children 30 minutes of his time per day, and so Sylvia had the closest bond with her mother, Aurelia. Otto died of gangrene when Plath was eight years old. http://litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=3579