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Is there an inversion in "placed as we were"? I think is means as/since we were placed in...Is this inversion common? Are there any rules to understand them? Context:

This was not the first time my employer had raised such a question; indeed, it seems to be something which genuinely troubles him. On this occasion, in fact, a reply of sorts did occur to me as I stood up there on the ladder; a reply to the effect that those of our profession, although we did not see a great deal of the country in the sense of touring the countryside and visiting picturesque sites, did actually "see" more of England than most, placed as we were in houses where the greatest ladies and gentlemen of the land gathered. —The Remains of the Day, written by Kazuo Ishiguro.

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    I think the meaning shouldn't be a problem, and I think you understand its meaning correctly. However, I'm not quite sure about its grammatical construction. After carefully thinking, I believe that this is a participle clause. However, I'm still working out which kind of participle clause it exactly is. (I'm guessing that it should be an adjectival past participle clause.) Perhaps others can give better explanations. Jan 16 '14 at 13:44
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I don't think any inversion has taken place here. This is a participle clause using the past participle. For argument's sake, an example of a participle clause with inversion with "placed", could be:

Carefully placed, just underneath the statue, was a frail handkerchief...

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