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Academic Insights for the Thinking World

New Year’s Day through the ages

How are you spending New Year’s Day this year? If your mind has turned to resolutions and plans for the coming months, a creative fresh start, or even if you’ve got a touch of the January blues, then you’re in good company. Some of our greatest writers and thinkers have found themselves in exactly the same predicament. To mark the start of 2017, we’ve taken a snapshot of poems, novels, and letters from famed literary and historical figures, all composed on January 1st.

On the same day, years apart, Frances Burney is turning her mind to resolutions, to “content myself calmly—unresistingly, at least, with my destiny,” whilst Edmund Burke is “perfectly unhappy” and concerned with the “capital of my fame.” Jeremy Bentham wonders what he should do about the mysterious “things” whilst Charles I is proclaiming the relocation of the Court of the King’s Bench to Oxford.

From Charles Dickens‘ health advice to William Cowper’s misplaced venison, discover the 1st of January as you’ve never seen (or read) it before…

Featured Image Credit: “Garibaldi Provincial Park January 2009” by Jennifer C. CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

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