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Source: p 279, The Family, by Helen Bosanquet, BA in Moral Sciences (First Class; Cambridge)

"If the husband is the head of the Family", she continued, "the wife is the centre.
It is she who is primarily responsible for the care of the children;
to the utmost extent of which the family means will allow,
it is her duty to see they are well cared for, both physically and morally;
and it is generally agreed that this duty can be properly fulfilled only by personal attention.

1. Am I right that which 's antecedent is the care of ... ?

2. I can't pinpoint why, but of which bothers me. It feels redundant.
What would differ if of which were removed? Please explain?

Footnote: I encountered the above on p 28 of 296, Understanding Housing Policy, by B Lund.

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  • Please include complete sentences in your questions.
    – user230
    Commented Apr 14, 2015 at 23:13
  • @snailboat Sorry about that. I wanted to localise the question. Fixed now.
    – user8712
    Commented May 13, 2015 at 1:58

2 Answers 2

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Helen Bosanquet BA in Moral Sciences 1906 was using a verb allow of which peaked around 1700, then fell off, and then enjoyed a little renaissance around 1850. It means 'to allow'.

So the clause could be rewritten:

To the utmost extent which the family means will allow of, it is her duty to to see...

To the utmost extent of which the family means will allow, it is her duty to see...

In contemporary English using allow instead of allow of:

To the utmost extent which the family means will allow, it is her duty to see...

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You are right. 'of which....' refers to the 'care'

If you remove 'of which', it becomes...

"If the husband is the head of the Family", she continued, "the wife is the centre. It is she who is primarily responsible for the care of the children; to the utmost extent the family means will allow, it is her duty to see they are well cared for, both physically and morally; and it is generally agreed that this duty can be properly fulfilled only by personal attention.

The sentence does not become clumsy. It conveys the message. 'of which' is a part of relative clause and I think it just gives a bit more precise information removing which may not change the sentence. Said that, you can call that redundant in that sentence.

But it's not always. In some cases, it's important to 'remove' the dependency (relative clause) in order to get rid of 'of which' or else the sentence may not look good.

[Source:] Congress passed the statute, the purpose of which was to lower taxes

In the above, there's a comma and 'of which' plays as a relative clause.

Now...

Congress passed the statute; the purpose was to lower taxes
[note that I put semicolon to make sentence independent).

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  • Thanks. For want of brevity, I did only quote the first part of the sentence. But what do you mean by there's a semicolon before ...? I see a semicolon in my OP? Please edit my OP directly if I neglected something.
    – user8712
    Commented Apr 14, 2015 at 4:39
  • No, there's no msitake in pasting. I'm just drawing your attention that the semicolon separates those two sentences.
    – Maulik V
    Commented Apr 14, 2015 at 4:41
  • +1. Thanks. I ought to have quoted the entirety, as you advised. I just wanted to localise the question. Fixed now.
    – user8712
    Commented May 13, 2015 at 2:01
  • I edited your post minorly and apologise for any offense. Please feel free to refine or revert.
    – user8712
    Commented May 13, 2015 at 2:02
  • I believe this answer is a bit misleading. The issue is as straightforward as explained in TRomano's answer. Commented May 13, 2015 at 2:24

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