make an effort over herself

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Senior Member
Chinese - China
I felt a certain shyness at referring to matters which were no concern of mine. I did not then know the besetting sin of woman, the passion to discuss her private affairs with anyone who is willing to listen. Mrs Strickland seemed to make an effort over herself.

Excerpt From
The Moon and Sixpence
W Somerset Maugham
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Hi. Does the underlined part mean “make an effort to hold herself back”?
Thank you.
  • thetazuo

    Senior Member
    Chinese - China
    Wow, that’s a tough one! I think your reading is correct, but I’d have to have more context to be sure.
    Hi. The context is the protagonist heard that Mrs Strickland’s husband had abandon her and went over to offer some consolation to her. During their conversation, Mrs Strickland broke down and left the room in a hurry. Some time later, she came back.
    Is this helpful?
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