February 7: A great place to be born: Milk Street, Cheapside. On this day in 1478, Sir Thomas More, author of Utopia is born here. The street, in London, remains one of the city’s most famous.

February 8: It’s opening night on this day in 1926 for Sean O’Casey’s play The Plough and the Stars which has its premiere at the Abbey Theatre in Dublin.

February 9: Ten years after the muse left, it returns for Rainer Maria Rilke on this day in 1922.who completes the cycle of poems in the Duino Elegies 18 days later on February 27th.

February 10: After a night on the town with Algernon Charles Swinburne, Dante Gabrielf Rossetti returns home on this day in 1862 and finds his wife Elizabeth Siddal dead from an overdose of laudanum. Years later, after burying her with a manuscript, he exhumed her body to retrieve his writings.

February 11: “Dying/Is an art, like everything else./I do it exceptionally well./I do it so it feels like hell.” Sylvia Plath puts her children to bed and turns on the oven, committing suicide at the age of 30 on this day in 1963.

February 12: On the sesquicentennial of Abraham Lincoln’s birth in 1959, Carl Sandburg, who won a Pulitzer for his biography of the American president, gives an address to a joint session of the  United States Congress.

February 13: Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, author of the Gulag Archipelago is expelled from the Soviet Union on this day in 1974.


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