what history had in store

Tea Addict

Senior Member
Republic of Korea Korean
Hello everyone. I would like to know what "what history had in store" means in the following sentences:

Crafting the dual stories of the manhunt and the manuscript certainly meant that my office was papered with timelines and lists of dates and flow charts! And I certainly experienced some painful moments knowing what history had in store for Agatha and Archie—and what Agatha had in store for Archie! But I thoroughly enjoyed the plotting and the intricacy of writing this unusual sort of historical fiction. I’ll never be as masterful at suspense and mystery as Agatha, but it was fun to try, and I viewed it as an homage to her.

- Marie Benedict, The Mystery of Mrs. Christie, A Conversation with the Author

This is a mystery novel published in the United States in 2020. This is an answer in A Conversation with the Author.

In this part, I wonder what "what history had in store" would mean here.
I am guessing that the future events in the book are being referred to as "history" because the book is based on real history...
Or would it really mean that "history" itself "prepared/held something in the storage" for Agatha and Archie...? Or that "history" is being prepared for Agatha and Archie...? o_O


I would very much appreciate your help. :)
 
  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    I am guessing that the future events in the book are being referred to as "history" because the book is based on real history...
    This makes sense. Having access to their entire history, she knows what the future will be for Archie and Agatha. If history has something in store for them, something is part of their fate. They will face it at some point in their lives.

    I know what fate/the future has in store for you = I know what your fate is/I know what you will have to face in the future.
     

    Tea Addict

    Senior Member
    Republic of Korea Korean
    Dear owlman5,

    Thank you very much for the detailed explanation.
    So "history (past)" means just like "fate (determined future)" here, because their history is already known and the author knows what is coming for them!
    She knows the things (=what) the fate (=the history) has prepared for them.

    In that case, I guess "have in store" would have the following definition:

    have in store

    have (something) in store (for one)
    To have something awaiting (one) or prepared (for one).

    The future has plenty in store—try not to worry about it too much.


    I truly appreciate your help, as always. :)
     

    AutumnOwl

    Senior Member
    Swedish, Finnish
    Dear owlman5,

    Thank you very much for the detailed explanation.
    So "history (past)" means just like "fate (determined future)" here, because their history is already known and the author knows what is coming for them!
    She knows the things (=what) the fate (=the history) has prepared for
    "History" (past) doesn't mean "fate" (determined future), unless one believes that whatever is happening to you have been determined by someone/something before you were born, and there is nothing you can do to change it.

    Here "knowing what history had in store for Agatha and Archie" means that the author (and everyone else) knows about the events that happened in their lives, that here is records of past events and times when it comes to Agatha and Archie. What the author is saying is "I know what happened to them", she's just trying to make it sound more fanciful. She also created her own (hi)story of why and what happened when Agatha went missing, that part is fictitious.
    See #2 and #3 here: history - WordReference.com Dictionary of English
     
    Last edited:

    Tea Addict

    Senior Member
    Republic of Korea Korean
    Dear AutumnOwl,

    Thank you very much for the explanation.
    So "history" means "record of past events," with the underlined part meaning that the record of the past events are being prepared to happen to Agatha and Archie.

    And this is my meagre attempt at paraphrasing :p :

    what history had in store for Agatha and Archie
    = the events that the record of past events prepared for Agatha and Archie

    She also created her own (hi)story of why and what happened when Agatha went missing, that part is fictitious.
    And I learned this illuminating fact from your explanation! Indeed, "history" is the combination of "hi" + "story"! No wonder that it means "story" occurred in the past. :D

    I sincerely appreciate your help, for letting me understand with your deep contextual analysis. :thank you:
     

    AutumnOwl

    Senior Member
    Swedish, Finnish
    Dear AutumnOwl,

    Thank you very much for the explanation.
    So "history" means "record of past events," with the underlined part meaning that the record of the past events are being prepared to happen to Agatha and Archie.

    And this is my meagre attempt at paraphrasing :p :

    what history had in store for Agatha and Archie
    = the events that the record of past events prepared for Agatha and Archie


    And I learned this illuminating fact from your explanation! Indeed, "history" is the combination of "hi" + "story"! No wonder that it means "story" occurred in the past. :D

    I sincerely appreciate your help, for letting me understand with your deep contextual analysis. :thank you:
    There are many meanings to the word "history", but simply said, it's a written collection (record) of things that has happened in the past, for example what you wrote in post #1 is now history, as it happened yesterday. You can do a search for all the questions you have posted on this forum and get a history of your activities here, or you can write down all that you remember that has happened in your life, from birth to today, and it will be the history of your life.

    The "have in store" (in post #3) is a set expression, and when saying it here, "what the future/life have in store for you", then it's not about "something being prepared for someone", it's more "things are going to happen and we do not know what that will be".

    The author chose to write "what history had in store for Agatha and Archie", but she could as well have written "what life had in store for Agatha and Archie", as it's about "the things that are going to happen to Agatha and Archie". MB chose the word "history" most likely as a wordplay, as she was writing a story in a historical setting. (And she was familiar with the history of their lives.) History is when you, in 2021, look back in time to events that happened between 1910 to 1926, it's not "the record of past events prepared". The events happening in the book to Agatha and Archie is in their "today", but they are "records of the past/history" from the author's point of view. You could say "what is happening today is history tomorrow".

    If I may guess, the book is written in a manner that there are chapters about events that happened in 1926, followed by chapters with recollections of things that happened in the past, from 1910 and forward.
     

    Tea Addict

    Senior Member
    Republic of Korea Korean
    Dear AutumnOwl,

    Thank you very much for the detailed and in-depth explanation!
    So "history" is a wordplay, in that the year 1926 and the 1910's were today from Agatha and Archie's perspective, but were already history, the record of past events from the author's point of view.

    And "had in store" would mean the things that lay hidden and unknown in "history", that are about to happen to Agatha and Archie. The hiddenness/unknowability of the "history" is only for Agatha and Archie, because the author already knows what has happened to them.

    If I may guess, the book is written in a manner that there are chapters about events that happened in 1926, followed by chapters with recollections of things that happened in the past, from 1910 and forward.
    Yes, exactly! There are chapters starting from the 1910's, and among them, chapters set in 1926 appear in an alternating manner.

    I truly appreciate your help; your explanation really deepened my understanding. :)
     
    Top