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I read an article about Marie Antoinette on wikipedia and I found a sentence -The couple's longtime failure to consummate the marriage plagued the reputations of both Louis-Auguste and Marie Antoinette for the next seven years.

I am curious if it is right when I put 'had plagued' in it instead of 'plagued'. I guess that 'some affairs had plagued the reputation for seven years' means there is another affair that restores their reputation after seven years from that failure.

Am I right? Also, If there is any ambiguity or errors on my post due to my bad english, please correct me. Thank you

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The first sentence is correct as it stands. The writer is looking back on a period in history and reporting in the past tense.

As you surmise, to use the past perfect had plagued implies some other subsequent development. It probably, but not necessarily, points to something that either restores their reputations or overlooks them.

For example, it might read:

The couple's longtime failure to consummate the marriage had plagued the reputations of both Louis-Auguste and Marie Antoinette for (the next seven) years but in time was overshadowed by their joint achievements.

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