Nicholas Hughes

i-31dd7c48c874df9ad8c1852dd4d49d10-nick-126x150.jpgNicholas Hughes was an evolutionary ecologist specializing in salmonids at the University of Alaska (Fairbanks). He was also the son of poets Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath. He killed himself by hanging yesterday after a bout with depression. He was 47. Times of London obit is here.

(HT to TR Hummer)

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This event is causing a ripple in the literary world -- mostly of the wrong kind. Sylvia Plath's story is well known (far too well known); the greatness of her poetry is often overshadowed, and its meaning warped or destroyed, by the public's obsession with her suicide. Ted Hughes attempted for decades to be humanely reticent about what had happened, and was pilloried for it. He protected his children as best he could. It is impossible to know what connection there may be between the death of Nicholas Hughes and that of his mother. He should be remembered for his own life and accomplishments -- and, I think, fairly enough, for the poems he inspired when he was in the womb and when he was a baby. See Sylvia Plath's magical poem "Nick and the Candlestick."

By Terry Hummer (not verified) on 23 Mar 2009 #permalink

His death will usher in the Men's movement, we will
gather to beat drums and take to the water like the ancient salmonids.

By J dollinter (not verified) on 23 Mar 2009 #permalink

So Sad!!! Rest in peace Nicholas Hughes. I just received several books in the mail that I purchased on ebay about Sylvia Plath, biographies, journals, poetry, Birthday Letters for a lending library for suicide prevention here on Kauai, Hawaii. I am so deeply saddened by Nicholas' suicide, right at the 6 year anniversary of my sweetie's suicide (he was 46). Now in addition to my passion for suicide prevention for teenagers, I am eager to learn more about suicides in depressed men in their 40's and hereditary pre-dispositions to suicide, so I can continue my efforts to help save lives. But forever, Nicholas' Hughes death will leave a hole in my heart. The only comfort I have is that he is now free from pain and with his mama. "Lay down my dear brother, lay down and take your rest, won't you lay your head upon your mother's breast, I love you but God loves you the best and we bid you goodnight, goodnight, goodnight"

By Carla Hart (not verified) on 30 Mar 2009 #permalink