Assia Gutmann

Assia Gutmann followed Sylvia Plath in Ted Hughes' succession of wives. Plath died leaving Hughes two children and a trunk full of her work. It was rumored that Gutmann and Hughes' affair drove her to suicide, but it is also highly probable that Plath was suffering from a severe bout of the depression that had hounded her since high school. After Plath's death, Gutmann and Hughes became even more seriously involved; Hughes would refer to Gutmann posthumously as his wife. In March of 1969, less than three years after Sylvia Plath's death, Assia Gutmann swallowed a handful of sleeping pills, gathered up the daughter she had by Hughes, and killed herself in the gas oven of a flat in Clapham Common in London. More rumors circulated, this time that Assia had committed the desperate act on or beside the trunk of Plath's work. Those that knew Assia concluded that she was no longer able to bear the strain of living in Plath's shadow, both professionally and personally.

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