Baby Sylvia with her parents Aurelia Schober and Otto Emil Plath.

Sylvia Plath was born into German culture. Her father, Otto Emil Plath, was born in Grabow, northeast Germany, soon after Otto von Bismarck became chancellor of the modern German Empire. The son of Ernestine Kottke and Theodore Plath, a farmer and blacksmith, Otto emigrated to America in 1901, when he was sixteen. A tall, erect, handsome man, he had blue eyes, ruddy complexion, high-parted hair, neat brush mustache, and cleft chin. He was educated at Northwestern College in Wisconsin, where all the instruction was in German, received a master’s degree at the University of...

Introduce yourself to The New Criterion for the lowest price ever—and a receive an extra issue as thanks.
Popular Right Now