mikado
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Use of "pounds" instead of "roubles" in passage of "The Idiot"
34 votes

According to Wikipedia, Eva Martin's translation was published in 1915. At this period, it is likely that few British readers would have a reason to know the value (in Sterling) of the Russian Rouble ...

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Meaning of 'Yawl write, hear?'
0 votes

It is a representation of the 2nd person plural pronoun as commonly used in the Southern states of the USA. It is more commonly represented as "Y'all" (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Y%...

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What is a "red lead firm"?
5 votes

Red Lead was a material used industrially for centuries. Its applications include use as a pigment. Toxicity means that it is no longer widely used. At the period, there would have been a number of ...

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Why was Fontane's copy of Thackeray's Vanity Fair confiscated by English customs?
13 votes

Prior to the Berne convention of 1886 (see A Brief History of Copyright) there was limited international enforcement of copyright, so foreign publishers were able to print books which would have been ...

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What is the meaning of “the drumstick” in this novel by John Galsworthy?
2 votes

I think that this is intended as a deliberate, humorous mispronunciation of "domestic", which would be short for "domestic servant". A possible origin would as a childish "...

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How was the free-born Englishman prevented from taking his ease in his inn in 1922?
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18 votes

Quoting Wikipedia After the outbreak of World War I the Defence of the Realm Act was passed by Parliament in 1914. One section of the Act concerned the hours pubs could sell alcohol, as it was ...

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In The Blue Cross, what is the mailbag trick?
1 votes

"The Blue Cross" was the first Father Brown story, published (according to Wikipedia) in 1910. The technology of photo microdots had been known for some decades by then.

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How many children had Lady Macbeth?
Accepted answer
9 votes

Shakespeare's play differs very substantially from actual events (the historical Macbeth reigned for about 17 years). However, according to Wikipedia the historical Lady Macbeth had a son Lulach ...

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In "The Story of Doctor Dolittle", why does the cat's meat man get sick every Christmas-time?
2 votes

I understand this as the Cats' Meat Man giving Dr Dolittle a Christmas present, disguised as a purchase of medicine that he doesn't need.

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Meaning of a sentence in "Ind Aff or Out of Love in Sarajevo"
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0 votes

In a state restaurant, the food would have been less expensive but the choice would have been limited. In a private restaurant, there was a choice of dishes, but the food was more expensive.

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Why is there an odd use of question marks in Lord of the Flies?
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13 votes

With appropriate vocal inflection, any statement can be turned into a question. Typically, this would have been done by ending with a rising vocal pitch, rather than a falling one. So he is asking the ...

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What is the Distracted Preacher never anxious to do in this long sentence?
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3 votes

In the winter, the Parish Clerk goes to tea with the Methodists. The vicar turns a blind eye to this: in the winter-time, when it was too dark for the vicar to observe [...] which [...] he was ...

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Is there any evidence that this character in Harry Potter was a double agent all along, prior to the revelation?
7 votes

The strongest evidence (in my opinion) is Dumbledore's unwavering trust. When other characters doubted him, Dumbledore always affirmed his confidence, but never gave others a reason to share it. This ...

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How did Wonka's Golden Ticket sweepstakes ensure that children would win?
-3 votes

Times have changed. In the 1960s it was far more unusual for an adult to eat chocolate bars than it would be today.

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