and <making havoc in> the old arrangements.

park sang joon

Senior Member
The narrator recalls his childhood.
He lives with his mother, Peggotty the only maid of his house, and his stern stepfather Mr. Murdstone in his late father's house.
Mr. Mudstone's elder sister came living with them from the night forth

As well as I could make out, she had come for good, and had no intention of ever going again. She began to "help" my mother next morning, and was in and out of the store-closet all day, putting things to rights, and making havoc in the old arrangements.
[David Copperfield by Charles Dickens]
I'd like to know why it is "making havoc in," not "making havoc of."
Thank you in advance for your help.
  • dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    You understand the meaning.

    Nobody in this forum is likely to know the correct distinction between "of" and "in" used with "havoc" when writing in 1850 in BE.

    Current AE rules, if there are any, don't apply. I don't know where to search online for 1850 BE grammatical rules.


    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    You can compare frequency of usage here:
    Google Ngram Viewer
    "Made havoc of" is found more frequently in the 19th century, but if you click on the dates beneath the graph you will find links to sources of the data, and you can check on the context in each case. It may be that writers in Dickens' time made a distinction between the two expressions - or maybe not.
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