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I am puzzled by the line "And a more strange narrative than the two between them unfold it has not been my lot to come across." in Dracula. Would any native speaker be so kind to tell me its meaning?

  • Old books use longer sentences which can be hard to parse. Does it help if I add commas? "And a more strange narrative, than the two between them unfold, it has not been my lot to come across." – Hugo Oct 8 '13 at 6:57
  • It is so nice of you to help me on this question, thanks a lot! – Stephen Oct 8 '13 at 9:38
  • You're welcome! As the two answers below also helped, it's good to click the little up-arrow next to them, to give them some virtual thank-you points. And if one helped you a bit more, click the green tick to accept one to give a few more virtual thank-you points. – Hugo Oct 8 '13 at 19:25
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It means:

I have never come across a stranger tale than the one told by the two items.

unfold a narrative means tell a story

my lot means the things I have received in life

Most modern writers prefer stranger over more strange.

Stoker also changed the word order for dramatic effect, and he deleted words that might have made the sentence clearer (but less exciting). So, yes, it's a difficult sentence to parse. Maybe this version is clearer:

It has not been my lot to come across a more strange narrative than the narrative that the two between them unfold.

  • It is so nice of you to have elaborated on the question I post. – Stephen Oct 8 '13 at 9:24
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It might help to put the sentence in the normal order:

And it has not been my lot to come across a more strange narrative than the two between them unfold.

  • It is so nice of you to help me on this question. Thank you so much! – Stephen Oct 8 '13 at 9:37

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