FAMILY MATTERS

What Caused Plath's Son's Suicide?

Nicholas Hughes' tragic suicide was the result of his father Ted Hughes' death, according to Joe Saxton, 47, a close friend of Nicholas for 33 years. In a letter to The Times of London, Saxton describes the close relationship that Nicholas had with his father, the poet, who died in 1998, saying that it was "a bond unlike any other father and son I have seen," adding, "The impact of his father's death was that all the other family relationships in his life were turned upside down. Only then did Nick begin to have mental health problems." Sylvia Plath, Nicholas' mother, gassed herself when Nicholas was one year old, and six years later, his father's mistress killed herself and her four-year-old daughter in the same way.