I had a couple of guardians, <in> my aunt and Mr. Dick.

park sang joon

Senior Member
The narrator recalls his childhood.
He was forced to work for his own living for Mr. Murdstone's friend Mr. Quinion at London by his stepfather Mr. Murdstone.
When the protagonist started to run away to his grand aunt Miss Betsey Trotwood, he was robbed his money and box by a porter and then he abandoned pursuing him after a long distance pursuit.
At last, he arrived his grand aunt's place after a long and rough traveling.
He said his own story to his aunt and her friend Mr. Dick, whom his aunt takes care of.
Now he starts his new life with the name "Trotwood Copperfield."

Thus I began my new life, in a new name, and with everything new about me. Now that the state of doubt was over, I felt, for many days, like one in a dream. I never though that I had a curious couple of guardians, in my aunt and Mr. Dick. I never thought of anything about myself, distinctly.
[David Copperfield by Charles Dickens]
I think "a curious couple of guardians" is in apposition to "my aunt and Mr. Dick."
So I was wondering why there is "in" before "my aunt and Mr. Dick."
Thank you in advance for your help.
  • dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    It is one way of structuring a "general concept / specific example".

    I had "curious guardians" (general concept), and this concept took real form in my life in this form: my aunt and Mr. Dick.


    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    Yes, I like dojibear's explanation. Sometimes it is possible to think of in as standing for 'in the form of', in the sense that what is said later is a manifestation of the more abstract concept.
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