Questions tagged [robert-barr]

Questions about the works of the Scottish-Canadian author Robert Barr (1849-1912) or his life as a writer.

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Narration in Robert Barr's In the Midst of Alarms: omniscient, third-person limited or something else?

In a comment on an answer about Robert Barr's novel In the Midst of Alarms Gareth Rees wrote, The narration is third-person limited, that is, we are getting the events largely from Yates' point of ...
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6 votes
1 answer
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How could the victor be vanquished at the same time?

In In the Midst of Alarms (1894) by Robert Barr, the author was describing the wife of a Canadian farmer: As he rose the door from the main portion of the house opened, and there entered a woman ...
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11 votes
1 answer
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What does "Bool-var" mean in "In the Midst of Alarms"?

In In the Midst of Alarms (1894) by Robert Barr, Yates was defeated in a friendly fight by his friend, professor Renmark, and he was astonished by the fighting skill of this quiet educated professor ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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How can someone "make a lot of money and fail" in the same time?

In In the Midst of Alarms (1894) by Robert Barr, Yates was talking to his old friend about another old friend that had caused Yates to be expelled from the academy: But what I detested was the way ...
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1 vote
2 answers
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Does Renmark mean that he himself did not lack self-conceit in the old days in "In the Midst of the Alarms"?

In In the Midst of Alarms (1894) by Robert Barr, Yates was talking to his old friend Professor Stillson Renmark (whom he calls "Stilly"): Now, then, Stilly, let’s talk business. You’re not ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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What does "the one man on earth to her" in "In the Midst of the Alarms"?

In In the Midst of Alarms (1894) by Robert Barr, Yates went to propose a girl who wasn't in love with him, but he thought she loved him. He went to her home's garden in the darkness to talk to her: “...
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15 votes
1 answer
2k views

What does "if the court knows herself" mean?

In In the Midst of Alarms (1894) by Robert Barr, Yates was camping with his unkind friend in Canada, when the police issued a warrant against Yates. “Stilly,” cried the reporter cheerily, “there’s a ...
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2 votes
1 answer
62 views

What does "draw on" mean in "In the Midst of Alarms?

In "In the Midst of Alarms" (1894) by Robert Barr, Yates, who was a reporter for Argus newspaper in US and was camping in Canada, was negotiating with a telegraph boy who demanded one ...
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2 votes
2 answers
186 views

What's the significance of "at least" here?

In "In the Midst of Alarms" (1894) by Robert Barr, Yates is flirting with a rural Canadian girl in her kitchen. “No such motive drew me into the kitchen. But I will tell you. You shall have ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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How could the volumes of higher mathematics contain expletives in the late 19th century?

In "In the Midst of Alarms" (1894) by Robert Barr, Renmark was a typical quiet and respectful professor, but something made so crazy to swear, saying "Damn!" His use of the word ...
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1 vote
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How could "chaperonage" be the right of a girl?

In "In the Midst of Alarms" (1894) by Robert Barr, Miss Kitty was a rural Canadian carefree girl, Renmark was a professor, and Yates was that young man from New York: Miss Kitty Bartlett ...
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2 votes
1 answer
92 views

Who is "they" that "rake him in" or "gather him in" in this passage from In the Midst of Alarms?

In In the Midst of Alarms (1894) by Robert Barr, someone was talking about a man who doesn't like attending protracted meetings for converting the sinners: He never wants to go to a protracted ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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What does "hard pushed in argument" mean in this context?

In "In the Midst of Alarms" (1894) by Robert Barr, a blacksmith, Macdonald, did an embarrassing trick to break the conceit of his New Yorker client in front of the crowd in his smithy, but ...
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2 votes
1 answer
95 views

Was it common in the late 19th century to write normal places, like "cross roads" and "corners" in capital letters?

In In the Midst of Alarms (1894) by Robert Barr, a young boy was describing the place of blacksmith’s shop, saying: Oh, a couple of miles or so; down at the Cross Roads. Then he said later in ...
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3 votes
2 answers
807 views

What does "Dirt is matter out of place" mean in this situation?

In In the Midst of Alarms (1894) by Robert Barr, a man was afraid of riding a horse for the first time in his life, but he was eventually convinced to do that with some worry. Yates mounted with some ...
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1 vote
1 answer
31 views

What does "There’s some fighting in that, if it is a history" mean here?

In In the Midst of Alarms (1894) by Robert Barr, a man was talking about the library of a Canadian rural township: “Well, the township can select the books if it likes, or it can send a committee to ...
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2 votes
1 answer
74 views

Does "if" here mean "although"?

In In the Midst of Alarms (1894) by Robert Barr, a man was talking about some of dime novels, saying: The young man went into the tent, and shortly returned with an armful of yellow-covered, paper-...
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0 votes
1 answer
52 views

What does "keep happiness away with a shotgun" mean here in this context?

In In the Midst of Alarms (1894) by Robert Barr, a man was talking about a self-sufficient people in a Canadian village, saying: “Why, that this is the proper way to live. Old Hiram has an anvil and ...
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3 votes
1 answer
47 views

Where is the main clause of "if" here?

In In the Midst of Alarms (1894) by Robert Barr, a man, who had gone to camp in the woods of Canada, was talking about his longness to New York, then he persuaded himself that the camp is a good place,...
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5 votes
1 answer
466 views

What does "it never takes the poignancy of the sting away from a beating received" mean?

In In the Midst of Alarms (1894) by Robert Barr, the author is describing a journalist at the Argus newspaper, who used to read the opposition sheets in a feverish way, saying: He had feared that he ...
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0 votes
1 answer
68 views

How could someone be beaten without knowing that?

In "In the Midst of Alarms" (1894) by Robert Barr, the author is describing a man who couldn't make a friendly conversation with a girl, although he was usually a good talker: It flashed ...
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5 votes
4 answers
1k views

Did "equator" have a different meaning from its common one in 19th-century English literature?

In "In the Midst of Alarms" (1894) by Robert Barr, the author is describing a man who was trying to make a friendly conversation with a rural young woman: “Yes,” Yates laughed uneasily. He ...
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5 votes
1 answer
84 views

How could the cane be used instead of tobacco in cigarettes in the late 1800s?

In "In the Midst of Alarms" (1894) by Robert Barr, the author is describing a young boy in a Canadian village, who was smoking: Young Hiram’s devotion to the Goddess Nicotine had never ...
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3 votes
3 answers
3k views

Was it normal to mix up the word "lady" with a man in Canada in 1894?

In "In the Midst of Alarms" (1894) by Robert Barr, the author is describing a conversation between, Yates, who had knocked someone down, and his friend, Stilly, who is usually quite and ...
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0 votes
1 answer
61 views

What's meant here by "just try it" and "just try it on"?

In "In the Midst of Alarms" (1894) by Robert Barr, the author is describing a situation, where a young man who's driving an elegant buggy behind an old man who's driving a hayrack in a ...
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4 votes
1 answer
152 views

What's meant here by "libation to the rites of good-fellowship"?

In "In the Midst of Alarms" (1894) by Robert Barr, the author is describing a situation, where a man is going from America to Canada to camp in the forest with his friend, and they were ...
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