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Below are three recent stories from Today in Literature; just click through to read them in full. The introduction to all 500 stories in our archive is available to all through our list of authors, but you must be a Premium Subscriber in order to have access to the stories themselves.
 


August 31 Hersey's "Hiroshima" and Hibakusha
  On this day in 1946 John Hersey's "Hiroshima" was published in The New Yorker. The article took up almost all sixty-eight pages of text space, an unprecedented and unannounced step for the magazine, taken so "that everyone might well take time to consider." When Hersey died in 1993, one obituary called "Hiroshima" the "most famous magazine article ever published."
August 30 Cleopatra, Shakespeare, Mehitabel
  On this day in 30 BC Cleopatra committed suicide. Death by self-inflicted asp was no whim: Cleopatra's search for a painless exit caused more than one unfortunate to be experimentally force-fed this or that drug or snake. The dress-rehearsing done, came the final act: "Give me my robe, put on my crown; I have / Immortal longings in me. . . ."
August 29 Blake, Dickens, Trollope & The Factory Act
  On this day in 1833, the Mills and Factory Act was passed in England, one of a series of measures to improve the "Health and Morals" of child laborers. The Act allowed a forty-eight-hour work week for children aged nine to twelve, but it brought many changes which the younger Dickens and William Blake's even younger "Chimney Sweeper" would have welcomed.

August 31, 2015
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