In (the) light of

One of the things the editor of my book on the language of Jane Austen’s letters systematically corrected was my use of “in the light of”. I’m sorry to say so, but I changed them all back again. But it still nags. Am I old-fashioned in preferring “in the light of”? I seem to remember that it was suddenly there, but where did it come from? I’m reading an article by Janine Barchas from 1996 on Sarah Fielding’s use of the dash, and her second sentence reads “Precisely in light of recent scholarly attempts …”, so it must have been around at least for twenty years.

Searching for images to illustrate this post, I could only find cartoons with “in light of”, so I must be old-fashioned. But still the question remains, where does it come from, and why is the article dropped?

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