Year by year, such influence grows of more account.

Tea Addict

Senior Member
Republic of Korea Korean
Hello everyone. I would like to know what "Year by year, such influence grows of more account." means in the following sentences:

‘Without it, one spends the best part of one’s life in toiling for that first foothold which money could at once purchase. To have money is becoming of more and more importance in a literary career; principally because to have money is to have friends. Year by year, such influence grows of more account. A lucky man will still occasionally succeed by dint of his own honest perseverance, but the chances are dead against anyone who can’t make private interest with influential people; his work is simply overwhelmed by that of the men who have better opportunities.’

- George Gissing, New Grub Street, Chapter 3

In this novel, which was published in 1891 in the United Kingdom, Jasper Milvain, the protagonist who was aspiring to become a literary critic, met Marian Yule, the daughter of the established literary critic Alfred Yule, on the walk. And Jasper began to tell her the importance of money in succeeding in a literary career.

In this part, I could not understand what exactly "to grow of more account" means.
How is it different than just saying "it becomes more important" or "its importance grows"?
Does "account" have some other special meaning or nuance that I don't know...?

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

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    That's what it means. It might have been a normal way to say it back then or maybe the author thought it fit the character better.
     

    Tea Addict

    Senior Member
    Republic of Korea Korean
    Dear kentix,

    Thank you very much for the explanation.
    Then, would it be safe to conclude that there is not much difference in saying "becomes more important" and "grows of more account"?
    As a non-native speaker, I am curious to know what feelings/nuances native speakers receive with regard to such an expression.
    Is it perhaps a more archaic/pompous way to say "becomes more important"...?
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    It could be meant to sound pompous but it's British English more than 100 years old so I don't have the experience to judge.

    A lot of American writing from 100 years ago sounds pompous today, but I don't know if it sounded that way back then. It could just be that times have changed.
     

    Tea Addict

    Senior Member
    Republic of Korea Korean
    Dear kentix,

    Thank you very much for the additional explanation.
    So while the meaning is the same (becoming more important), the time has changed and it is expressed in a different phrase suitable to the old times.

    I truly appreciate your help. :)
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    Yes, I see absolutely no difference in the meaning. Whether it indicated something about the character to readers in 1891, I can't say.
     
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