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In January 1955, she submitted her thesis, The Magic Mirror: A Study of the Double in Two of Dostoyevsky's Novels, and in June graduated from Smith with highest honors.She obtained a Fulbright Scholarship to study at Newnham College, one of the two women-only colleges of the University of Cambridge in England, where she continued actively writing poetry and publishing her work in the student newspaper Varsity.
Plath began to conceive of herself as a more serious, focused poet and short-story writer.
Plath and Hughes traveled across Canada and the United States, staying at the Yaddo artist colony in Saratoga Springs, New York State in late 1959.
A visit to her father's grave later prompted Plath to write the poem "Electra on Azalea Path".
After Otto's death, Aurelia moved her children and her parents to 26 Elmwood Road, Wellesley, Massachusetts in 1942.
She married fellow poet Ted Hughes in 1956, and they lived together in the United States and then in England.
They had two children, Frieda and Nicholas, before separating in 1962.Plath says that it was here that she learned "to be true to my own weirdnesses", but she remained anxious about writing confessionally, from deeply personal and private material.In August she finished her semi-autobiographical novel The Bell Jar and immediately after this, the family moved to Court Green in the small market town of North Tawton in Devon. In June 1962, Plath had had a car accident which she described as one of many suicide attempts.She was furious at not being at a meeting the editor had arranged with Welsh poet Dylan Thomas—a writer whom she loved, said one of her boyfriends, "more than life itself." She hung around the White Horse Tavern and the Chelsea Hotel for two days, hoping to meet Thomas, but he was already on his way home.A few weeks later, she slashed her legs to see if she had enough "courage" to commit suicide.In July 1962, Plath discovered Hughes had been having an affair with Assia Wevill and in September the couple separated.Beginning in October 1962, Plath experienced a great burst of creativity and wrote most of the poems on which her reputation now rests, writing at least 26 of the poems of her posthumous collection Ariel during the final months of her life.Plath's mother, Aurelia, had grown up in Winthrop, and her maternal grandparents, the Schobers, had lived in a section of the town called Point Shirley, a location mentioned in Plath's poetry.While living in Winthrop, eight-year-old Plath published her first poem in the Boston Herald of complications following the amputation of a foot due to untreated diabetes.In 1950, Plath attended Smith College, a private woman's liberal arts college in Massachusetts.She excelled academically, and wrote to her mother, "The world is splitting open at my feet like a ripe, juicy watermelon".