was not Madame Laurin at the hotel, and was she not going to sing?

kyoungmin

Member
korean
I came across this sentence when reading "The Little Black Doll" from Lucy Maud Montgomery Short Stories. Here is context :

At the tea table nothing was talked of but the concert; for was not Madame Laurin, the great French Canadian prima donna, at the hotel, and was she not going to sing? It was the opportunity of a lifetime—the Marshalls would not have missed it for anything. Stately, handsome old Grandmother Marshall was going, and Uncle Roderick and Aunt Isabella, and of course Chrissie, who was always taken everywhere because she was pretty and graceful, and everything that Little Joyce was not.

How can I understand the highlited sentence?
Can anybody there kindly give me some explanation?

Thank you a lot in advance!
 
  • idialegre

    Senior Member
    USA English
    The basic meaning is: "At the tea table nothing was talked of but the concert; for Madame Laurin, the great French Canadian prima donna, was at the hotel, and she was going to sing."

    The phrasing of it as a rhetorical negative question suggests, to me at least, some conversation that must have taken place, the tone of which would have been something like the following:

    "My dear, are you going to the concert tonight?"
    "What concert?"
    "Why, haven't you heard? Mme. Laurin is at the hotel, and she's going to sing! Don't you want to hear her?"
     
    Top