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I was reading an article on Wikipedia and found this

Christie had long been a fan of detective novels, having enjoyed Wilkie Collins' The Woman in White and The Moonstone as well as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's early Sherlock Holmes stories. She wrote her own detective novel The Mysterious Affair at Styles featuring Hercule Poirot, a former Belgian police officer noted for his twirly large "magnificent moustaches" and egg-shaped head. Poirot had taken refuge in Britain after Germany had invaded Belgium. Christie's inspiration for this stemmed from real Belgian refugees who were living in Torquay.

I want to know why the past perfect is used twice? Should it be "Poirot had taken refuge in Britain after Germany invaded Belgium."?

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    I think it would rather be "Poirot took refuge in Britain after Germany had invaded Belgium", but since both events are not specified by a particular temporal reference, there is no reason to use past tense, methinks. – Victor Bazarov Nov 12 '15 at 16:49
  • Could you please edit your question and provide a link to the article? – user20792 Nov 14 '15 at 3:35
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    @User1 a quick google search gives the result. Here it is. – Usernew Nov 14 '15 at 5:20
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    That's great, @Usernew, but I'm interested in getting the OP (Mrstupid) to learn how to ask better questions so that I, or we, don't have to go searching for missing material. – user20792 Nov 14 '15 at 9:16
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Because it is written poorly. I think the passage my be better worded as:

Christie had long been a fan of detective novels, having enjoyed Wilkie Collins' The Woman in White and The Moonstone as well as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's early Sherlock Holmes stories. Her first detective novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, featured the character Hercule Poirot: a former Belgian police officer noted for his twirly large "magnificent mustaches" and egg-shaped head, and took refuge in Britain after Germany invaded Belgium.

"Had taken," is the passive voice, and is generally frowned upon. The active voice "he took refuge" is easier and more compelling to read.

  • "Had taken" is not passive voice. "Had been taken" would be passive voice. – Victor Bazarov Nov 13 '15 at 16:38
  • I stand corrected. It's still awkward. – CluelessJoeJackson Nov 13 '15 at 20:52
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    It is customary to edit your answer if/when others point out a mistake in it, unless you don't think it's a mistake. – Victor Bazarov Nov 13 '15 at 20:54
  • Does that make you happy? – CluelessJoeJackson Nov 13 '15 at 20:59
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    I'd like to say yes, but only can say, "I wish..." – Victor Bazarov Nov 13 '15 at 21:19

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