Posted by Laura W on November 23, 1997 at 15:44:06:
In response to Question on --shire? What is it?, written by Shelly on November 23, 1997 at 12:52:36
] Often when mentioning the militia quartered in Meryton, they are referred to as '--shire'. What was the meaning of that? Specifically why the dashes or lines before?
] This has puzzled me and my mother (first time reader)
Most militia companies had names like "The 24th Foot Guards of the Lancashire Militia." In other words, the units were named after a particular county. By "---shire," JA is avoiding naming the county. It was a common convention for writing in JA's day; for example, the social columns in the papers would report gossip in the form: "a certain Lord M---- has been seen paying attentions to a Miss S----, and an Interesting Announcement is expected soon from that quarter."
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