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Hi, friends

Would you please answer my questions after reading the following paragraph:

"...Her comments had scandalized Edinburg society for years. At her first ball, talking to a trio of old dowagers, she had remarked that the high sheriff had a fat backside, and her reputation had never recoverd...."

1. What does "her" refer to in the last sentence? to "she" or to "high sheriff" in the previous sentence?

2. What does "a trio of old dowagers" mean? Does "dowager" mean here a " a high class and rich woman " or " "
a woman of high social rank who has a title from her dead husband"?

3. Why should remaking about someone's backside in a private taking of 3 women (trio) spoil someone's reputation (whether the teller of the remark or the one who the remark is about)?

Thank you in advance

Hossein
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Hi,

Would you please answer my questions after reading the following paragraph:

"...Her comments had scandalized Edinburg society for years. At her first ball, talking to a trio of old dowagers, she had remarked that the high sheriff had a fat backside, and her reputation had never recoverd.."

1. What does "her" refer to in the last sentence? to "she" or to "high sheriff" in the previous sentence?

'She'.

2. What does "a trio of old dowagers" mean? Does "dowager" mean here a " a high class and rich woman " or " "a woman of high social rank who has a title from her dead husband"?

1. A widow, usually not young, who is rich and/or is a member of the nobility.

2. Informally A dignified, elderly woman.

3. Why should remaking about someone's backside in a private taking converation of 3 women (trio) spoil someone's reputation (whether the teller of the remark <<< yes, the speaker or the one who the remark is about)? Because the 3 women told everyone about the vulgar and rude remark. Have a look at the word 'gossip'.

Clive
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Is the setting for this book a century or two ago?

A young woman's good reputation was essential if she was to marry well, which was their only objective. Desired traits in women were modesty, humility, and an understanding of her "place" in society. After making a remark like this she would have shown she was not a model of feminine modesty.

Without doubt "her" refers to the young woman.
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Thank you dear friends for your replies.

But at least in one case two contradict answers. I'd like the other friends answer the questions too, although I think the Clive's answers seem more reasonable.
 BarbaraPA's reply was promoted to an answer.
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yes, the setting is 17th century.

Thank you for your helpful reply. That was the best.

but again 1 question remains: Why should talking badly in a private conversation of 3 women spoil one's reputation in all the society?

Thank you

Hossein
She didn't know these women well enough to trust them with her confidences. She was sharing a rude and immodest opinion -- one a well-bred young lady should not even have, let alone share with strangers. These women obviously told other respectable women in their society how immodest the young woman was, and it ruined her reputation.