as was, for instance, the 19th century

ironman2012

Senior Member
Chinese
Hi,

For a change from prevailing pessimism, I should like to recall for you some of the positive and even admirable capacities of the human race. We hear very little of them lately. Ours is not a time of self-esteem or self-confidence as was, for instance, the 19th century, whose self-esteem may be seen oozing from its portraits.

(This comes from MANKIND'S BETTER MOMENTS by Barbara W. Tuchrnan.)

1. Is the blue part inverted? The normal order is "as the 19th century was a time of self-esteem or self-confidence", isn't it?
2. Does "as" here mean "like"?

Thanks in advance!
 
  • velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    Yes, "as" means "like" or "in a similar way".

    The inversion allows the noun to be followed by a relative clause: the 19th century, whose self-esteem may be seen oozing from its portraits, without leaving the verb "was" stranded at the end of the sentence - ...as, for instance, the 19th century, whose self-esteem may be seen oozing from its portraits, was.
     
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