General Writing and Grammar Help/Second question.

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Question
Dear Ted,

Thank you very much for your prompt reply! You are an expert in American
literature.

There is a sentence:

To them the task seemed inevitable and satisfying and they were devoted to it for more than a century and this in spite of coming from missionary stock.

This expression is strange. And if you want to express the same meaning, how to you want to write?

By the way, what’s your opinion on the two famous American writers: Arthur
M. Schlesenger and Gore Vidal?

Thanks!

Best Wishes,

Walden

Answer
Dear Walden:

Thank you very much for your prompt reply! You are an expert in American
literature.

*** I taught American literature for many years.  I have a master's degree in literature from a prestigious university, Bucknell.

There is a sentence:

To them the task seemed inevitable and satisfying and they were devoted to it for more than a century and this in spite of coming from missionary stock.

This expression is strange. And if you want to express the same meaning, how to you want to write?

*** Walden, I don't know what the task was, so my response is limited.  I would write the
sentence this way:  Despite their coming from missionary stock and having little expertise in other areas, for more than a century, they were devoted to this inevitable and satisfying task.

By the way, what’s your opinion on the two famous American writers: Arthur
M. Schlesenger and Gore Vidal?

*** Schlesenger = excellent historian and political writer; his father was also a well-known historian.  The younger Schlesenger's "A Thousand Days: John F. Kennedy in the White House" is considered to be one of the best accounts of Kennedy's short presidency.

*** Vidal = above average writer, but not one of my favorites.  He was a "pop culture idol."  He was also known for ongoing confrontations with other writers, particularly Norman Mailer.
Mailer had far more success than Vidal.

Ted

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Ted Nesbitt

Expertise

I am the bibliographic instruction and reference librarian at a public college. Some members of the English department recommend me to their students. I offer assistance in grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and paragraph development. My master`s thesis concerns William Faulkner`s tragic novels. I formerly taught advanced placement English at two schools in the Philadelphia area.

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I have been one of the highest-ranked volunteers in this category for more than a decade.

Education/Credentials
B. A. and M. A in English; MSIS in Library & Information Sciences; graduate study in philosophy

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