shiver over something

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Taivo

Senior Member
Estonian
Hi, this one is again from "The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August",a great book by Claire North.

(Harry) I did indeed study law, going to Edinburgh University to shiver away over great fat books whose pages crunched with the generations of paper-munching insects...

Well, I am at loss, my best guess is the books give Harry cold creeps, but before the excerpt there's some suggestion that the "shivering" is used as the opposite of sweating, perhaps studies are not very difficult for him? (The book is full of puns and witticisms.)

...I was resolved to give myself some chance of going to university and studying something I hadn't studied before. Law, perhaps. I could see myself becoming lost very easily in the dry but thick volumes of wisdom that subject contained.

How does it strike you, does either of the meanings seem right, or neither?
Thank you!
 
  • suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    I would read that as more to do with Edinburgh and student life in general being cold, not well heated in libraries or draughty digs. He shivered because it is cold up there and he couldn’t afford heating!
     

    Taivo

    Senior Member
    Estonian
    Absolutely, I guess this was just too straightforward for me:D It seems I have become overly suspicious...
    Thank you!
     

    suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    Absolutely, I guess this was just too straightforward for me:D It seems I have become overly suspicious...
    Thank you!
    ;)
    Maybe so .. nothing wrong with being alert to nuances, but this time I think it is quite literal.
    All the best

    Suze
     
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