Day 261 Mile 261: Dr. Johnson runs around for Fresher’s Week. On this day in 1709 Samuel Johnson (often referred to simply as Dr. Johnson) was born. He was described by the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography as “arguably the most distinguished man of letters in English history”, having made a name for himself as a writer who made lasting contributions to English literature as a poet, essayist, moralist, literary critic, biographer, editor and lexicographer.
Dr. Johnson is most widely remembered for being the single handed author of the first dictionary to comprehensively document the English language.
Johnson took seven years to complete the work, although he had claimed he could finish it in three. Remarkably, he did so with only clerical assistance to copy out the illustrative quotations that he had marked in books, and it was first published on 15 April 1755
As an aside the unpredictable and irascible genius has since had a posthumous diagnosis of Tourette syndrome.
On a not disconnected note it is also the first day of ‘Fresher’s Week’ at many British Universities today so to celebrate all of these facts I put a dictionary in a rucksack and ran loop starting at the university library.
The autumn air this morning feels quite cool and crisp, and while I am unsure whether I am filtering the environment with my own expectations there is a definite feeling of anticipation and newness in the atmosphere. However it still does not make it feel any easier running up hill carrying a dictionary!
I’m running a mile each day everyday for 2017. If you feel you can sponsor me please do, as all the money raised will go to the Cleft Lip & Palate Association (CLAPA) who provide services all across the UK to support people affected by it.
Distance: 1626.1 meters recorded
(1 mile = 1609.34 m.)
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Thanks as ever for all the support!