Patrick O'Brian Discussion Forum

9 literary New Year’s resolutions


‘Do you need some inspiration for your New Year’s resolutions? If you’re in a resolution rut and feeling some of that winter gloom, then you’re not alone . . To help you on your way to an exciting start to 2017, we’ve enlisted the help of some of history’s greatest literary and philosophical figures–on their own resolutions, and inspiring thoughts for the New Year . . ‘

- See more at:

It includes this from Fanny Burney*:

‘ . . 4. Go with the flow: “I opened the new year with what composure I could acquire…and I made anew the best resolutions I was equal to forming, that I would do what I could to curb all spirit of repining, and to content myself calmly—unresistingly, at least, with my destiny.”**

– In stoic fashion on 1 January 1787, the English satirical novelist resolves to content herself with her destiny. If you’re struggling to retain your composure this January, “be like Burney” and go with the flow . . ‘

* intimate friend of Hester Thrale - Queeney’ - Jack Aubrey’s maths teacher.

** She had been appointed second keeper of the robes to Queen Charlotte: ‘ . . Frances was compelled to work long hours, to attend her royal mistress through uneventful days and nights, and to live a life of dull routine, menial activity, and rigid protocol . . this uneventful tenor of living was finally shattered by the onset of the king's first serious attack of mental illness in 1788 . . ’ (DNB)

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