Marina Ivanovna Tsvetaeva was born in Moscow, Russia. The family travelled abroad and Marina attended schools in Switzerland and Germany, and studied history and literature at the Sorbonne. In 1910, she self-published her first collection of poems. In 1912, she married Sergei Efron, also a poet and a Russian military officer, with whom she would have three children. Her second collection of verses, Magic Lantern, also appeared in 1912. Between 1917 and 1922, she wrote a cycle of six plays in prose and verse. In 1919, in an attempt to save her two daughters from starvation, Tsvetaeva placed them in a state orphanage, but Irina died there of malnutrition. Tsvetaeva and her daughter Ariadna left Russia in 1922 to join Efron in Berlin. They lived in Paris and Prague and had a son, Gregori. The family returned to Moscow in 1939. Efron and Ariadna were arrested on charges of espionage in 1941. He was executed, and Ariadna was sent to a forced labor camp. Tsvetaeva committed suicide that year at age 48.